Study: Boogie down to get energy and cognition up

January 8, 2019

Older women who still enjoy dancing—whether it’s a waltz or the jitterbug—are likely to sustain better balance, muscle strength, and concentration than others in the same age group. In turn, these capabilities enable them to nimbly perform the activities of daily living (ADL).

A new study of “Exercise type and activities of living disability in older women,” conducted at the Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Gerontology—and published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports examined the potential effects of 16 different exercise types for reducing disability for activities of daily living in older women.

The study enrolled 1,003 community-dwelling older Japanese women without ADL disability, according to a report by Medical Life Sciences News . In the baseline survey, all participants were asked whether or not they participated in any of 16 exercise types. ADL disability during eight years of follow-up was defined as needing help in performing at least one ADL task (walking, eating, bathing, dressing, or toileting).

ADL disability was noted in 130 participants (13%) during follow-up. After adjusting for confounders, participation in dancing, compared with non-participation, was associated with a 73% lower likelihood for developing ADL disability. There were no significant associations between other exercise types and ADL disability.

“Although it is unclear why dancing alone reduced the risk of ADL disability, dancing requires not only balance, strength, and endurance ability, but also cognitive ability: adaptability and concentration to move according to the music and partner, artistry for graceful and fluid motion, and memory for choreography,” said lead author Dr. Yosuke Osuka, of the Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Gerontology.” We think that these various elements may contribute to the superiority of dancing in maintaining a higher ADL capacity.”

Research contact: @tochu_koho

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