Does dance-based training improve balance in adult and young old subjects? A pilot randomized controlled trial.
Aging Clin Exp Res. 2005 Oct;17(5):385-9. PMID: 16392413
Istituto di Ricerca sull'Attività Motoria, Università di Urbino "Carlo Bo", Urbino, Italy.
BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Loss of balance is a major risk factor for falls in the elderly, and physical exercise may improve balance in both elderly and middle-aged people. We propose a clinical trial to test the efficacy of an exercise program based on dance in improving balance in adult and young old subjects. METHODS: We carried out a mono-institutional, randomized, controlled clinical trial. 40 subjects (aged 58 to 68 yr) were randomly allocated in two separate groups: the exercise group (n = 20) followed a 3-month exercise program; the control group (n = 20) did not engage in physical activities. Differences in balance between the end of the training period and the baseline were assessed using four different balance tests: Tinetti, Romberg, improved Romberg, Sit up and go. RESULTS: Results showed a significant improvement in balance in the exercise group at the end of the exercise program, whereas the control group did not show any significant changes. The comparison between exercise and control group variations in balance test scores showed a highly significant difference. 17 out of 20 subjects in the exercise group reported great or moderate satisfaction with the dance activity. CONCLUSIONS: Results suggest that physical activity based on dance may improve balance and hence be a useful tool in reducing the risk of falling in the elderly. The exercise program also revealed interesting psychosocial benefits.