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Dancing effective way to lose fat for overweight, obese people: Study

IANS Jan 22, 2024

Dancing is an effective way to lose fat for people with overweight and obese and has a significant improvement on body composition and morphology, a new study has shown.

In the study published in the journal PLOS ONE, the researchers looked at ten randomised controlled trials that compared the effects of dance interventions versus normal lifestyles or other physical activities on body composition in overweight and obese individuals.

They discovered that dancing significantly reduced body mass, body mass index, waist circumference, body fat percentage, and fat mass when compared to the control group.

However, dancing had no significant effect on the waist-to-hip ratio, which is a measure of central fat distribution.

The researchers also noted that dancing can enhance physical and mental health, as well as social well-being, in people with overweight and obesity.

"Growing evidence indicates that the benefits stemming from dance are in both physical and mental dimensions, and these advantages are not limited to specific people. Compared to the non-exercise group, dance can ease blood pressure, insulin sensitivity, physical fitness, cognitive disorders, and mental health," they said.

Moreover, the study looked into factors that could influence the effectiveness of dance interventions, such as age, dance form, comparison group, and intervention duration.

Dance was found to be more effective for younger individuals (<45 years), creative dance forms, normal lifestyle groups, and interventions lasting more than three months.

The researchers acknowledged some of the study's limitations, including the diversity of dance forms, the predominance of female participants, and a lack of data on dance adherence and enjoyment.

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