New study finds dancing improves balance, may prevent falls among seniors

Alan Wu

November 8, 2011

According to a new report by researchers at Glasgow Caledonian University, seniors who dance three times a week or more may be less likely to succumb to a fall, The Telegraph reports.

To find this out, the researchers examined 94 studies with a total of 9,917 participants. All of the studies looked at how different methods of exercise either helped or hurt each senior’s balance. From the compiled data, scientists found that older adults who took part in dancing three or more times a week had the best balance and coordination, results that even surprised the researchers.

“Interestingly, we found that walking and cycling generally do not improve balance, although they have many other beneficial effects,” Tracey Howe, lead author told the publication.

Howe believes that seniors need to do a number of different activities in order to stay fit, and dancing at home is easy to do.

“What you have to do is combine activities, such as carrying things while walking or dancing which involves using various parts of the body,” Howe told the source.”It is well worth the elderly putting their favorite music on at home and having a little jig.”

Seniors looking to try new ways to improve their balance may want to take up dancing in their homes. However, those living alone may want to install a senior alert system first, as this wearable device will allow a person to call for help if they do fall while exercising.