New Study to Examine Health Benefits of Dance

New Study to Examine Health Benefits of Dance
Photo by Mark Zamora on Unsplash

Dance has long been known to have many health benefits, from improving balance to increasing flexibility. No matter what style of dance, the physical health benefits are clear. The negative physical health impacts of dance have long been clear too, with pressure on joints and bones being a major cause of injury. However, the mental health effects of dance are not so well understood.

That’s why British scientists are set to begin a new study that will examine the possible benefits of dance for a variety of health issues. The 18-month study, funded by a grant from the Economic and Social Research Council, will be conducted by researchers at Brunel University London alongside academics at University College London and University of Cambridge, and performance artist Matthias Sperling.

The first phase of this study will begin this weekend, where participants will take part in a one-hour movement class followed by basic cognitive tests and questionnaires. Dr Guido Orgs, Lecturer in Psychology at Brunel University London, said: “This is an extremely unique project, which we hope will give us new insights into why people enjoy the performance arts and which may lead to new treatments for psychological issues such as obsessive-compulsive disorder and autism.”

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UPDATE 6/10/16 – Swedish researchers published a study in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine where they studied 112 teenage girls struggling with many problems, including stress, depression and anxiety. Split into two groups, one group of girls attended a dance class weekly, the other did not. Results showed that the girls who attended the dance classes, improved their mental health and reported a boost in mood that lasted up to eight months after the classes ended. Finding activities that can help to give you better mind control may be recommended now that these results are able to support this claim. It can be beneficial for people to know that dance has been known to have a positive effect on some of these common ailments.

“According to these results, despite problems such as stress and other potential challenges in being an adolescent girl, dance can result in high adherence and a positive experience for the participants,” says lead study author Anna Dubert, of Sweden’s Center for Health Care Sciences, in a press release. “[This] might contribute to sustained new healthy habits.”



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