A recent study from the University of Brighton discovered that certain styles of dance can burn more calories than cycling, running, or swimming.
For the study, 15 students from London’s City Academy between the ages of 24 to 38 participated in a series of dance classes. The dancers wore catapult vests with accelerometers and heart rate monitors, so that scientists could measure their heart rate, distance covered, energy expended, and psychological states.
The dancers tried six styles of dance: ballet, ballroom, contemporary, salsa, street, and swing dance. Here are the results:
- Street dance – 606 kcal
- Swing dance – 586 kcal
- Contemporary – 534 kcal
- Running – 528 kcal
- Football – 516 kcal
- Swimming – 498 kcal
- Ballet – 462 kcal
- Cycling – 390 kcal
- Badminton – 378 kcal
To read about the researchers’ insights into the study, click to the next page.
“Dance not only appears to increase positive and reduce negative emotions, which are typical effects of exercise, but we also found that dancing actually reduced feelings of fatigue too,” says lead scientist Dr. Nick Smeeton. “People may be familiar with runners’ high and there appears to be a similar effect after dancing too. We have seen that dancing improves your emotional state. Furthermore, it seems to have an energizing effect. Add in the known benefits of social interaction you get whilst dancing and it becomes a powerful way to improve your health and well-being.”
“Dancing improves your emotional state.”
“This research gives a fascinating insight into the various health and well-being benefits dance provides,” says Shawnna Cope, the head of dance in City Academy. “Across the board we know that dance is a fun and sustainable way to keep fit and, best of all, it’s accessible to everyone.”
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