Effects of dancing compared to walking on cardiovascular risk and functional capacity of older women: A randomized controlled trial

Josianne Rodrigues-Krause, Juliano Boufleur Farinha, Thiago Ronzales Ramis, Rodrigo Cauduro Oliveira Macedo, Francesco Pinto Boeno, Gabriela Cristina Dos Santos, João Vargas, Pedro Lopez, Rafael Grazioli, Rochelle Rocha Costa, Ronei Silveira Pinto, Mauricio Krause, Alvaro Reischak-Oliveira

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31 Citations (Scopus)


INTRODUCTION: Aging is characterized by reductions in lean mass simultaneously to increases in visceral adipose tissue, elevating cardiovascular risk (CVR) and physical dependence. Dancing has been recommended for improving fall-risk and CVR, however, comparisons with traditional exercises are limited. This study aimed to compare the effects of dancing with walking on CVR and functionality of older women.

METHODS: Thirty sedentary women (65 ± 5 years, BMI 27 ± 4 kg/m2) were randomized into three groups (n = 10/group): dancing, walking or stretching (active control). All interventions lasted 8 weeks (60 min sessions): dancing/walking 3×/week, stretching 1×/week. Dancing: several styles, no partner. Walking: treadmill, 60% peak oxygen consumption (VO2peak). Stretching: large muscle groups, no discomfort. Before and after interventions assessments: VO2peak (primary outcome), total cholesterol, HDL-C, LDL-C, glucose, insulin, CRP, TNF-α, waist and hip circumferences, visceral adipose tissue (VAT), muscle thickness, maximal muscle strength/power, static and dynamic balance, gait ability, flexibility, chair-raise and level of physical activity (PA).

STATISTICS: generalized estimating equations, post-hoc LSD (p < 0.05), SPSS 22.0.

RESULTS: (Mean-CI): (before vs after): group vs time interaction showed increases in VO2peak (mL·kg-1·min-1) for dancing 23.3 (20.8-25.8) vs 25.6 (23.4-27.8), and walking 23.4 (21.3-25.5) vs 27.0 (25.4-28.6), with no differences for stretching 23.5 (21.3-25.7) vs 23.0 (21.0-24.9). Lower body muscle power and static balance also improved for dancing and walking, but not for stretching. Main time effect showed improvements in CRP, TNF-α, LDL-C, HDL-C, VAT, waist, hip, chair raise, flexibility and level of daily PA for all groups.

CONCLUSION: Dancing induced similar increases in VO2peak, lower body muscle power and static balance as walking, while the stretching group remained unchanged. Pooled effects showed improvements in body composition, lipid and inflammatory profile, which are supported by increased PA levels.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-77
Number of pages11
JournalExperimental Gerontology
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018
Externally publishedYes


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