Dance floor therapy may reduce injuries in elderly

Dr Dafna Merom (PhD), honorary associate at the University of Sydney’s School of Public Health, said while formal exercise programs that include balance challenge training could prevent falls, dance offered much more.

“Dance is a complex sensory motor rhythmic activity. It also has cognitive and social dimensions,” she said.

“This package as a whole can simultaneously address a wide range of physiological and cognitive risk factors that contribute to falls.”

Dr Merom recently secured an NHMRC grant to conduct a trial on the effectiveness of social dancing as a falls prevention strategy.

She aims to recruit 450 men and women who are aged over 65 years to take part in twice weekly sessions of ballroom classics including rumba, salsa and foxtrot and “even some rock’n’roll” in Sydney, a media statement said.

Studies have shown that seniors who do some type of dancing have