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Dance recommended by Public Health England

An evidence review commissioned by Public Health England and the Centre for Ageing Better has found that exercise which combines muscle and bone strengthening and balance activities such as dance has great health benefits for all adults, particularly older adults aged 65 years and over.

In older adults, poor muscle strength increases the risk of a fall by 76% and those who have already had a fall are three times more likely to fall again. Strengthening and balance activities not only help to prevent this, but also help improve your mood, sleeping patterns, increase your energy levels and reduce the risk of an early death. Dance was specifically mentioned in the report as an activity found to have the most benefit for muscle and bone strengthening alongside ball games, racket sports and resistance training.

The review underlines the importance of the UK Chief Medical Officer’s guidance that all adults need to undertake strengthening and balance activities suitable for them at least twice per week in order to maintain and improve health. For those at risk of falls or fracture, supervised structured exercise is also recommended at a pace that suits the individual to help maintain independence and support healthy ageing.

Dr Alison Tedstone, Head of Diet, Obesity and Physical Activity at Public Health England, said:

Alongside aerobic exercise such as brisk walking, all adults should be aiming to do strengthening and balancing activities twice per week. There is significant potential to make savings to health and social care services if we do more to promote muscle strengthening and balance activities and recognise their role in helping to keep people healthy and independent for longer, particularly as they age. Current statistics show that falls are responsible for around 95% of all hip fractures, costing the NHS over £1 billion per year.

Dance, which can provide both aerobic exercise and involves strengthening and balance activities, can help adults to prevent health problems and enjoy ageing well.

www.gov.uk/government/news/major-health-benefits-from-strengthening-and-balance-activity

NDTA Conference © Brian Slater