New research suggests that seniors who are used to active living may benefit from a few rounds of the Charleston or Swing for their effects on both body and mind.
The activity, which incorporates both physical activity and social interaction, can contribute to longer lives in seniors, says Dr Jonathan Skinner who
led the study.
The study found that participants reported less physical pains and an improved quality of life, attributed by researchers to the increase in activity and growth in friendship promoted by social dancing.
It had an added benefit in Northern Ireland, an area rife with deep-rooted conflict where part of the study was conducted, in that it helped to reduce conflict, "creating solidarity, tolerance and understanding," he added.
Dr Una Lynch said that the study may aid in dispelling stereotypes about aging and "the fact that healthy aging can be fun."
Researchers at Stanford University found that 60 minutes of "vigorous exercise," like that found in dancing, were able to decrease the risk of disability among older people when compared to their more sedentary counterparts.