Dancing associated with greater active engagement in older adults

Dancing may improve social and community-based activity participation.


What are the effects of dancing on activity participation and quality of life?

What was done?

62 participants aged 50 and over participated in a 6-week dance programme. Measures of activity participation, quality of life and falls were taken before and after the dance program.

What was found?

Participants in the dance program participated in significantly more activities, including domestic activities after the program.

How does this affect me?

Participating in dance may improve your overall engagement with other activities.

Article Abstract

Aims: The study examined the impact of a 6-week dance programme on frequency of activity participation, falls efficacy, and quality of life for community dwelling adults aged 50 years and over. It also explored participants’ perceptions of the programme impact and delivery. Methods: The programme was delivered by two dance instructors and targeted community dwelling adults aged 50 years and over, who were independently mobile. Sixty-two participants were recruited and provided baseline data. Thirty-five participants provided immediate follow-up data. Outcome measures were conducted at baseline and immediately post-intervention. Measures included frequency of participation in activities (The Frenchay Activities Index); falls efficacy (Falls Efficacy Scale- International); and quality of life (EQ-5D-3L). Focus groups explored participants’ perceptions of the programme. Results: Significant differences were found post-programme in frequency of activity participation (p = 0.036), including domestic activity (p = 0.048). No significant differences were found in falls efficacy or quality of life. Focus group data indicated participants enjoyed the programme and perceived enhanced physical abilities, emotional and psychological well-being and increased activity participation as a result of programme participation. Conclusion: Findings suggest that a dance programme may increase activity participation in social and community-based activities, however given the study limitations, further research is required to corroborate this.

Link to full article.

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