Many parents who want to keep their child fit and healthy decide a good solution to get him or her to do some exercise and learn a new skill is to take the kid to dancing class. However reasonable this sounds though, a new study reveals that most dance classes fail to make children sweat as much as one might think.
The study, which was recently published in the journal Pediatrics, analyzed the activity of 264 girls whose ages varied (110 of them were adolescents) who were attending dance courses in four community centers and seventeen private studios in San Diego. The findings were amazing as far as the physical activity they actually did was concerned. A dance class resulted in an average of only 17 minutes of moderate to intense physical activity. 66 different dance classes were analyzed and the best ranked seemed to be hip-hop, with a 57 percent time used for intense activity. Out of all dancing courses, ballet provided the least exercise, with only 20 percent of the time dedicated to a good workout.
This might be worrying for those parents who strongly believe that a ballet class can come with many other perks, apart from the nice movements and grace that their child might acquire. This could be the reason why some of the children who attend dance class still fail to lose some of the extra weight. This comes as bad news in addition to the already known information that girls have a tendency to be more sedentary than boys.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that children have at least one hour of medium to high energy physical activity every day. Study lead author James Sallis, who is also a professor of family and preventive medicine at the University of California, San Diego states that “people are very aware of the obesity epidemic but not as concerned as they should be about the low levels of activity in our country.”
However, activity in all forms should be encouraged and parents should view dance classes as a motivating factor for further physical exercise that could turn their children into active, skillful adults. Doing something that the girls actually enjoy is a wonderful opportunity that could help them stay healthy, even if they do not burn as many calories as one might expect.
Image Source: lonestarballet