Elderly people are advised to take up tango and ballroom dancing to cut the risk of falling and injuring themselves.
In June 2017, dance scientist Dr Emma Redding, from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, said dance classes could help prevent falls, which are the biggest cause of emergency hospital admissions for pensioners in Britain and kill almost 5,000 people every year.
The slower, structured dance styles of tango and ballroom provide ankle and core strength for older people, helping them keep their balance.
Older people are more at risk of falling because of muscle deterioration and a loss of balance that comes with age, as well as sight problems and the side effects of medications.
Elderly people are advised to take up tango and ballroom dancing to cut the risk of falling and injuring themselves
Dr Redding also said dance classes can help widowed people who are lonely, while the traditional music they waltz to can bring back valuable memories for those with dementia.
Speaking before giving a talk at Cheltenham Science Festival, she said: ‘Dancing, you take physical risks you would not on your own. You shift your weight from side to side, from front to back, as you would not do when walking.
‘This helps with ankle and core stability and makes people much more confident when moving in everyday life.
‘The postural alignment is very important in preventing falls in older people and could help keep them safe.’
Dancing burns off six calories a minute in the average person, compared to 10 calories a minute for football.
This is particularly good for older people, who typically fail to achieve their guideline 150 minutes of moderate exercise and two of more days of strength exercises a week.