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Dancing is an effective way to lose weight and fat, Research

Dancing is not only a fun and social activity, but also a great way to burn calories and improve body composition, according to a new systematic review and meta-analysis published in PLOS ONE (Link).

The researchers analyzed 10 randomized controlled trials that compared the effects of dance interventions with normal lifestyles or other physical activities on body composition in people with overweight and obesity. They found that dancing significantly reduced body mass, body mass index, waist circumference, body fat percentage, and fat mass, compared to the control groups. However, dancing did not have a significant effect on waist-to-hip ratio, a measure of central fat distribution.

The authors suggest that dancing has several advantages over other forms of exercise for fat loss, such as being more enjoyable, engaging, and adaptable to different preferences and abilities. They also note that dancing can improve physical and mental health, as well as social well-being, in people with overweight and obesity.

The review also explored the factors that may influence the effectiveness of dance interventions, such as age, dance form, comparison group, and intervention duration. They found that dance was more suitable for younger people (<45 years), creative dance forms, normal lifestyle groups, and interventions lasting for more than 3 months.

The authors acknowledge some limitations of their study, such as the heterogeneity of dance forms, the predominance of female participants, and the lack of data on adherence and enjoyment of dance. They call for more studies to investigate the differences among different dance forms, the gender differences in dance, and the common advantages of dance for fat loss.

The authors conclude that dance is an effective and comprehensive exercise intervention for fat loss in people with overweight and obesity, and recommend it as a viable alternative to traditional exercise protocols.


Zhang Y, Guo Z, Liu Y, Zhou Y, Jing L (2024) Is dancing an effective intervention for fat loss? A systematic review and meta-analysis of dance interventions on body composition. PLoS ONE 19(1): e0296089. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0296089

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