Health Check: Can Science Sway You To Dance?


Finding time for what you love versus what you must do isn’t always easy. Do you pick a quick activity for your lunch break or a recommended class after work? Should you learn something new or improve at something you already know? Ideally, if we all had unlimited time and resources, we wouldn’t need to ponder these choices. But the reality is, with family and work responsibilities, we need to be smart about how we use our time. This means choosing activities that benefit our mind, body, and soul for the long haul. We all understand the importance of staying active, but what kind of exercise offers lasting physical and mental health benefits? Here’s a hint: think dancing.


According to TIME, researchers tracked 1,000 Japanese women over eight years to see how physical activity affected aging. Out of these women, 130 were considered disabled due to difficulties with daily tasks like walking and getting dressed. The study revealed that dancing was the standout activity that significantly reduced the risk of disability—by an impressive 73% for those who danced regularly, compared to those who didn’t.


Other exercises like calisthenics, walking, and yoga didn’t show the same strong link, even after accounting for other health factors. At Arthur Murray Sterling Heights, this might not come as a surprise. Our students often say that ballroom dancing has lowered their stress and boosted their health. The researchers explained that dancing not only requires balance, strength, and endurance but also mental sharpness, adaptability, and memory for choreography.


Another study mentioned by TIME focused on preventing mental decline, a challenge many face as they get older. It found that spending 60 to 120 minutes a week on tai chi or dancing could enhance overall brain function, even in people already experiencing some cognitive impairment. These activities also seemed to improve cognitive flexibility, language skills, learning, memory, and organizational skills more than other mind-body exercises.


While dance might seem like just a hobby, the benefits it brings to physical and cognitive health are undeniable and exciting. It’s never too late to start dancing to boost your overall well-being. Remember, “if you don’t use it, you’ll lose it.” Keeping our minds and bodies active is key to maintaining strength and sharpness with age. So, why not join us in aging as elegantly as we dance? If the science doesn’t convince you, we hope to win you over. Get in touch online or drop by to see us.