[01:14.00]Dancing is something that humans do when they want to have a good time. It's a universal response to music, found in all cultures.
[01:23.73]But what's only been discovered recently is that dancing not only makes us feel good, it's also extremely good for our health.
[01:33.71]Dancing, like other forms of exercise, releases hormones, such as dopamine, which make us feel relaxed and happy.
[01:43.71]And it also reduces feelings of stress or anxiety.
[01:48.39]Dancing is also a sociable activity, which is another reason it makes us feel good.
[01:55.95]One study compared people's enjoyment of dancing at home in front of a video with dancing in a group in a studio.
[02:05.32]The people dancing in a group reported feeling happier, whereas those dancing alone did not.
[02:13.01]In another experiment, university researchers at York and Sheffield took a group of students and sent each of them into a lab where music was played for five minutes.
[02:26.34]Each had to choose from three options: to sit and listen quietly to the music, to cycle on an exercise bike while they listened, or to get up and dance.
[02:39.86]All were given cognitive tasks to perform before and after.
[02:45.90]The result showed that those who chose to dance showed much more creativity when doing problem-solving tasks.
[02:55.83]Doctor Lovatt at the University of Hertfordshire believes dance could be a very useful way to help people suffering from mental health problems.
[03:07.17]He thinks dance should be prescribed as therapy to help people overcome issues such as depression.
[03:19.93]It's well established that dance is a good way of encouraging adolescent girls to take exercise but what about older people?
[03:29.93]Studies have shown that there are enormous benefits for people in their sixties and beyond.
[03:36.53]One of the great things about dance is that there are no barriers to participation.
[03:42.62]Anyone can have a go, even those whose standard of fitness is quite low.
[03:48.89]Dance can be especially beneficial for older adults who can't run or do more intense workouts, or for those who don't want to.
[04:00.05]One 2015 study found that even a gentle dance workout helps to promote a healthy heart.
[04:08.61]And there's plenty of evidence which suggests that dancing lowers the risk of falls, which could result in a broken hip, for example, by helping people to improve their balance.
[04:22.39]There are some less obvious benefits of dance for older people too.
[04:28.43]One thing I hadn't realised before researching this topic was that dance isn't just a physical challenge.
[04:37.13]It also requires a lot of concentration because you need to remember different steps and routines.
[04:44.80]For older people, this kind of activity is especially important because it forces their brain to process things more quickly and to retain more information.
[04:57.31]Current research also shows that dance promotes a general sense of well-being in older participants, which can last up to a week after a class.
[05:09.87]Participants report feeling less tired and having greater motivation to be more active and do daily activities such as gardening or walking to the shops or a park.
[05:23.53]Ballroom or country dancing, both popular with older people, have to be done in groups.
[05:31.63]They require collaboration and often involve touching a dance partner, all of which encourages interaction on the dance floor.
[05:41.26]This helps to develop new relationships and can reduce older people's sense of isolation, which is a huge problem in many countries.
[05:51.82]I also looked at the benefits of Zumba.
[05:56.24]Fifteen million people in 180 countries now regularly take a Zumba class, an aerobic workout based on Latin American dance moves.
[06:08.67]John Porcari, a professor of exercise and sport science at the University of Wisconsin, analysed a group of women who were Zumba regulars and found that a class lasting 40 minutes burns about 370 calories.
[06:27.50]This is similar to moderately intense exercises like step aerobics or kickboxing.
[06:35.15]A study in the American Journal of Health Behavior showed that when women with obesity did Zumba three times a week for 16 weeks, they lost an average of 1.2 kilos and lowered their percentage of body fat by 1%.
[06:54.24]More importantly, the women enjoyed the class so much that they made it a habit and continued to attend classes at least once a week - very unusual for an aerobic exercise programme.
[07:10.33]Dance is never going to compete with high-intensity workouts when it comes to physical fitness gains, but its popularity is likely to keep on rising because it's such a fun way to keep fit.
Complete the notes below.
Write ONE WORD ONLY for each answer.
Health benefits of dance
• All forms of dance produce various hormones associated with feelings of happiness.
• Dancing with others has a more positive impact than dancing alone.
• An experiment on university students suggested that dance increases .
• For those with mental illness, dance could be used as a form of .
Benefits of dance for older people:
• accessible for people with low levels of
• reduces the risk of heart disease
• better reduces the risk of accidents
• improves function by making it work faster
• improves participants' general well-being
• gives people more to take exercise
• can lessen the feeling of , very common in older people
Benefits of Zumba:
• A study at The University of Wisconsin showed that doing Zumba for 40 minutes uses up as many as other quite intense forms of exercise.
• The American Journal of Health Behavior study showed that:
- women suffering from benefited from doing Zumba.
- Zumba became a for the participants.