Two new studies suggest that dance, rather than the sedentary lifestyle in which many of us live, is a key to reducing the risk of falling.
Participants in the first study, published in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health, suffered a fall an average of 1.7 times a year. Researchers followed this group, assessing the risk of falling before and after they joined a physical activity or sport club. After six months, dancers had a 46 percent lower risk of falling compared with non-dancers. As time went on, this risk decreased and the odds of falling dropped by 76 percent.
The second study, in PLOS Medicine, looked at a wide range of exercise interventions in children and adolescents, looking at the influence of dance classes and dance clubs on falling risk. Researchers followed the 40,000 children and adolescents who took part in the U.S. and British national health and fitness surveys between 1993 and 2005.
No falling was recorded after just four years in children who had no club participation and there was no impact of social class, race, ethnicity, medication use, smoking, alcohol use or whether or not the child took part in music lessons.