Physical Benefits of Dancing for Healthy Older Adults: A Review

Click name to view affiliation

Justin W.L. Keogh
Search for other papers by Justin W.L. Keogh in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Andrew Kilding
Search for other papers by Andrew Kilding in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Philippa Pidgeon
Search for other papers by Philippa Pidgeon in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Linda Ashley
Search for other papers by Linda Ashley in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
, and
Dawn Gillis
Search for other papers by Dawn Gillis in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
Restricted access

Dancing is a mode of physical activity that may allow older adults to improve their physical function, health, and well-being. However, no reviews on the physical benefits of dancing for healthy older adults have been published in the scientific literature. Using relevant databases and keywords, 15 training and 3 cross-sectional studies that met the inclusion criteria were reviewed. Grade B–level evidence indicated that older adults can significantly improve their aerobic power, lower body muscle endurance, strength and flexibility, balance, agility, and gait through dancing. Grade C evidence suggested that dancing might improve older adults’ lower body bone-mineral content and muscle power, as well as reduce the prevalence of falls and cardiovascular health risks. Further research is, however, needed to determine the efficacy of different forms of dance, the relative effectiveness of these forms of dance compared with other exercise modes, and how best to engage older adults in dance participation.

Keogh, Kilding, Pidgeon, and Ashley are with the School of Sport and Recreation, and Keogh, Kilding, and Gillis, the Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research, AUT University, Auckland, New Zealand.

  • Collapse
  • Expand