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Zumba is the most dangerous type of dancing -scientists

by kenya-tribune
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It’s the trendy dance routine and fitness craze that has taken the world by storm and includes the ‘Goddess of Pop’ Cher among its allegiance of fans.

But scientists have now revealed Zumba – a Latin-inspired dance workout – is the most dangerous type of dancing.

In a review of five popular forms of dancing, they found there is an average of 3.9 injuries for every 1,000 hours of Zumba. 

By comparison, the rate is almost four times lower for salsa (1.1 per 1,000 hours) – a lively style of dance that originated in Cuba.

The study solely delved into the dangers of salsa dancing.

Researchers at Coventry University led the trial, which quizzed 450 salsa dancers between the ages of 18 and 64.

They were asked about how often they dance, if they do any other exercise and if they warm up beforehand.

Up to 22 per cent of salsa dancers suffer at least one injury every year, according to the results of the study. This is compared to 14 per cent of men.

The injuries they received were most often caused by being stepped on by another dancer.

Results showed women suffer 1.1 injury for every 1,000 hours they spend dancing the salsa compared to 0.5 injuries for men.

This makes women more than twice as likely to be injured by salsa dancing than men.

The risk of being injured increases by three per cent for every year older a person is and seven per cent for every 1kg/metre squared rise in their BMI.

But for every year spent salsa dancing, the risk a person will be injured goes down by seven per cent. 

Dr Pablo Domene, study author, and colleagues then compared the rates of injury from salsa dancing to four other types of dance.

They found ballroom dancing has a similar injury rate to salsa at 1.5 and 0.5 per 1,000 hours for women and men.

Zumba is the most dangerous, slightly more so than aerobic dance (2.9 per 1,000) and Spanish dancing, such as the Flamenco (1.5 per 1,000).

Dr Domene, who also teaches salsa, said: ‘Researchers have been investigating injuries in dance for many years to try to reduce the risk of people being hurt while performing – but until now no one has ever looked at salsa.

‘For us it seemed necessary to do this research using a large group of dancers, and from a variety of countries, to be able to provide comparisons in terms of injury rates, types and severity with other popular genres of dance.’   

Dr Domene added that avoiding dancing when the environment is ‘overcrowded’ could help reduce the number of injuries.

And she also suggested that dancers should take care ‘not to collide with or step on other dancers’ and avoid ‘wearing open-toed shoes’. 

The findings were published in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health.

Previous research by the same scientists found a single salsa class makes a person more intelligent by boosting their understanding, focus and memory.  

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