Effect of an Exergaming-Based Dance Training Paradigm on Autonomic Nervous System Modulation in Healthy Older Adults: A Randomized Controlled Trial

in Journal of Aging and Physical Activity
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The purpose of this study was to determine if an exergaming-based dance training protocol can improve heart rate variability (HRV) in healthy older adults. A total of 20 healthy older adults (≥65 years old) were randomly assigned to two groups. The intervention group received an exergaming-based dance aerobic training for 6 weeks, while the control group received a 1-hr education on conventional physical exercises. Data obtained from HRV analysis pre- (Week 0) and postintervention (Week 7) consisted of high-frequency power, low- and high-frequency ratio, and root mean square of differences and percentage of adjacent RR intervals with a difference of duration greater than 50 ms values. HRV was assessed during rest and during a 6-min walk test. In addition, the YMCA submaximal cycle ergometer test was used to acquire estimated maximal O2 consumption pre- and postintervention. After the training, the intervention group showed significant improvement in HRV high-frequency power, root mean square of differences, and percentage of adjacent RR intervals with a difference of duration greater than 50 ms values in both rest and 6-min walk test conditions compared with the control group. Similarly, the intervention group showed higher maximal O2 consumption compared with the control group after the training. Our results support the effectiveness of an exergaming-based dance aerobic training on improving cardiac autonomic control in aging.

Varas-Diaz, Subramaniam, Phillips, and Bhatt are with the Department of Physical Therapy, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA. Delgado is with the Cardiopulmonary Laboratory, Department of Physical Therapy, Federal University of São Carlos, São Carlos, São Paulo, Brazil.

Bhatt (tbhatt6@uic.edu) is corresponding author.
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