Welcome to our blog series on the upsides of dancing and how it can change your life.
As full time dance instructors, we’ve witnessed firsthand just how social dancing can improve your health, fitness and overall wellbeing. Young or old, male or female, in just a matter of weeks students see the benefits of just one lesson a week.
And it seems the research agrees with us, this week we’d like to share the results of our Googling!
A 2020 article in My Brain Institute by Relmi Damiano, revealed some fascinating facts:
- An average adult in American sits for around 6.5 hours per day
- In Mexico, adults reported sitting nearly 4 hours per day in a recent study
- Older people (over 60) in the United Kingdom may sit 9 or more hours per day
- Nearly 70% of Australians are classified as having low levels of physical activity or being sedentary4
With COVID lockdowns and the move towards working from home, these statistics are probably even more frightening in 2021.
Do you relate to these key factors Relmi identifies in her article?
- Are you too connected to technology and obsessed with long working hours?
- When you are done with work for the day, do you sit again in front of the TV, your phone or laptop watching Netflix and YouTube for hours on end
This sedentary lifestyle and reliance on technology means we collect so much stress and unhealthy tension in our bodies and minds which puts more pressure on our spines and necks. It’s no surprise that diabetes, obesity, dementia, Alzheimer’s, auto immune illnesses, chronic fatigue and various mental illnesses are becoming so prevalent in our modern world. All this can be prevented with a more active lifestyle.
We know we need to get up and move more, but where do we start? Well, another research study has the answer.
In 2015 a 21 year study of senior citizens, 75 and older, was led by the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, the study wanted to see if any physical or cognitive recreational activities influenced mental acuity.
The research discovered that some activities had a significant beneficial effect. Other activities had none.
They studied cognitive activities such as reading books, writing for pleasure, doing crossword puzzles, playing cards and playing musical instruments. They also studied physical activities like playing tennis or golf, swimming, bicycling, dancing, walking for exercise and doing housework.
One of the surprises of the study was that almost none of the physical activities appeared to offer any protection against dementia. There can be cardiovascular benefits, of course, but the focus of this study was the mind.
There was one important exception: the only physical activity to offer significant protection against dementia was frequent dancing.
- Bicycling and swimming – 0%
- Playing golf 0%
- Reading 35% reduced risk of dementia
- Doing crossword puzzles at least four days a week 47%
- Dancing frequently 76%. That was the greatest risk reduction of any activity studied, cognitive or physical.
Now, that’s a powerful argument for giving dancing a go.
Meet the authors: After owning and running Social Dance Company for 15 years, Matthew and Dani feel like they’ve taken a degree in counselling and have dramatically changed the way they teach to make sure every student’s gets all the benefits of dancing from brain training to fitness and wellbeing. In this blog series we’ll be sharing the latest research, telling the stories of people we’ve taught and generally celebrating the power of social dancing.
If you’d like to read more here are the links to the articles, we’ve quoted in this blog https://blog.aboutmybrain.com/the-science-of-why-you-should-get-off-the-couch-and-dance