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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2021 May 24

DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.21.12242-X

Copyright © 2021 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Physiological and exertional responses of partner dance in elderly

Ester TOMMASINI 1, Sabrina DEMARIE 2, Paolo BRUSEGHINI 1, Antonio GIANFELICI 3, Christel GALVANI 4

1 Exercise and Sport Science Degree Course, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milan, Italy; 2 Department of Movement, Human and Health Sciences, Università degli Studi di Roma Foro Italico, Rome, Italy; 3 Institute of Sports Science, Italian National Olympic Committee, Rome, Italy; 4 Applied Exercise Physiology Laboratory, Department of Psychology, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milan, Italy


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BACKGROUND: In order to verify if partner dance is an appropriate physical activity (PA) for elderly, to promote and maintain healthy fitness level, physiological and exertional responses during ballroom and smooth dance in elderly were examined.
METHODS: Twenty healthy amateur dancers (10 men and 10 women, age 72.0±5.9 yrs, BMI 25.5±4.2 kg/m²) with multiyear dancing experience performed 3 different kinds of ball (choosing between Mazurka, Viennese Waltz and Polka or Slow Waltz, Tango and Foxtrot), each lasting 3 minutes, with a 3-minute recovery between consecutive balls. Cardio-respiratory data were continuously recorded with a portable metabolimeter (K5, Cosmed, Italy) in order to assess Metabolic Equivalent Task (METs) of each ball. The Borg Category-Ratio anchored at the number 10 (CR10 scale) was used to assess perceived effort (RPE) at the end of each ball.
RESULTS: There were no gender differences in METs and RPE. Also, no differences in RPE were observed between balls. The mean METs for ballroom dance were: Tango 4.3±1.1, Slow Waltz 4.5±1.1 and Foxtrot 4.8±1.4 METs, respectively; the mean METs for smooth dance were: Mazurka 5.3±0.9, Viennese Waltz 5.8±0.8 and Polka 5.9±1 METs, respectively. Polka elicited significantly higher METs values than Tango (p<0.0007) and Slow Waltz (p<0.0017); Viennese Waltz elicited significantly higher METs values than Tango (p<0.0016), too.
CONCLUSIONS: In general, ballroom and smooth dance demanded moderate to vigorous PA intensity levels (according to the specific classification for elderly). Therefore, all studied dance styles met the suggested intensity of the current guidelines for elderly and thus may serve as a legitimate form of PA for elderly.


KEY WORDS: Partner dancing; Heart rate; Oxygen consumption; Aged

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