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Rivista di Medicina, Traumatologia e Psicologia dello Sport

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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2015 Ottobre;55(10):1219-26

lingua: Inglese

Can practice of Dancesport as physical activity be associated with the concept of “successful aging”?

Marini M. 1, Monaci M. 1, Manetti M. 1, Piazza M. 1, Paternostro F. 1, Sgambati E. 2

1 Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine, Section of Anatomy and Histology, University of Florence, Florence, Italy;
2 Department of Biosciences and Territory, University of Molise, Pesche, Isernia, Italy


AIM: Regular and structured physical activity is known to be effective in preventing and/or reducing the physical and mental decline associated with aging. Indeed, such usefulness of physical activity has been associated with the concept of “successful aging”. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the possible physical and cognitive effects deriving from the practice of Dancesport in comparison with the participation in adapted physical activity (APA) programs and sedentarity.
METHODS: A total of 150 healthy older adults were enrolled, consisting of three groups: 1) Dancesport (non-competitive Latin American and Standard dancers); 2) APA (subjects practicing a multicomponent training program adapted to elderly); 3) control (sedentary subjects). All participants were assessed with cognitive computerized tests and underwent motor tests (Tinetti Test [TT] and Sit and Reach [SR] Test), and filled out a questionnaire to evaluate leisure cognitive activities and Short Form-12 (SF-12) questionnaire to assess quality of life.
RESULTS: Subjects practicing Dancesport and APA performed significantly better in all proposed tests than sedentary subjects. In particular, dancers reported better scores in both cognitive and motor tests as well as in SF-12 compared to APA.
CONCLUSION: Given its peculiar characteristics, Dancesport represents a feasible, attractive and alternative physical activity to preserve cognitive and physical functions during aging. Increased self-esteem, social contact and psychophysical wellness significantly ameliorate the quality of life during aging.

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