A researcher at the University of Chicago is trying to see if dance lessons can help elderly Latinos improve their health. Sify.com reports that David Xavier Marquez has convinced 13 Latinos 55 or older to take a 12-week dance class.
"It's a culturally appropriate physical activity for Latinos. Many grew up dancing at family gatherings and other celebrations. But many don't have the opportunity to do it now," Marquez told the news source.
Marquez said he was looking for a way to encourage more exercise in older individuals.
While he focused on Latinos because they comprise 35 percent of the older population in Chicago, he added that using dance as an exercise is a great idea, regardless of ethnicity.
While the findings have yet to be analyzed, Marquez told the news provider that he has already noticed changes in the participants daily lives, from being less tired to feeling better about themselves.
Although the importance of active living as people age is widely known, many people do not get enough exercise. According to the Active Living Coalition for Older Adults, as many as 67 percent of women and 54 percent of men over the age of 65 are not physically active enough.