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Journal Article


Bianco A, Patti A, Bellafiore M, Battaglia G, Sahin FN, Paoli A, Cataldo MC, Mammina C, Palma A. Aging Clin. Exp. Res. 2014; 26(2): 147-152.


Sport and Exercise Sciences Research Unit, University of Palermo, Via Eleonora Duse 2, 90146, Palermo, Italy,


(Copyright © 2014, Editrice Kurtis)






AIM: The aim of this study was to examine the opportunity to adopt, for the elderly, already validated function ability tests to better understand how to prevent falls and injuries and to better plan group fitness activities like ballroom dance classes (e.g., Valzer, Polka, Mazurka). METHODS: A cross-sectional study was conducted. The Berg Balance Scale (BBS) and the Barthel Index (BI) were administered and the occurrence of falls during the previous 2 years was evaluated by anamnesis. One hundred and twenty-two elderly subjects living in Palermo city participated to the study. According to the anamnesis, subjects were divided into two groups: experimental group (EG) and control group (CG). The EG consisted of 75 subjects attending classes of ballroom dancing (73.0 ± 5.6 years 26.1 ± 3.9 BMI), while the CG included 47 volunteers (74.3 ± 5.4 years, 26.8 ± 4.4 BMI). A threshold of 70 % for both scales (BBS-70 and BI-70 %) was set, according to the aims of the study. STATISTICA software was adopted to perform an unpaired t test. A P value lower than 0.05 was considered to be statistically relevant. RESULTS: The BI and BBS of CG were 76.7 ± 33.08 and 30.9 ± 14.9, respectively, while the BI and BBS of EG were 98.1 ± 6.9 and 50.5 ± 54. In EG the BBS-70 % showed 96.0 % of cases compared to 27.6 % of the CG. The BI showed a similar trend to BBS. In EG the BI-70 % showed 98.6 % of cases, while the BI-70 % of CG showed 70.2 % of cases. Moreover, only 36.0 % of EG reported falls previously, while CG reported 53.2 % of falls during the same period of time. CONCLUSION: The BBS seems to be a valid and reliable tool able to be adopted also by professionals of the ballroom dancing sector (e.g., Valzer, Polka and Mazurka classes). Instructors may evaluate the functional ability of their attendees through BBS to easily obtain more information and better plan ballroom dance classes. Moreover, we highlight that these conclusions need to be supported by other studies with different cohorts and a larger population scale.

Language: en


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