Queensland University of Technology researchers have found that for people living with Parkinson’s disease, dance improves walking, emotional wellbeing, and capacity to tackle cognitive challenges.
The findings were presented recently at the DANscienCE Moving Well forum in Sydney by project lead, QUT PhD researcher Nadeesha Kalyani, and Erica Rose Jeffrey, QUT alumnus and Dance for Parkinson’s Australia program director and teacher.
- Study participants with early-stage Parkinson’s did twice weekly, one-hour Dance for Parkinson’s classes at QUT for 12 weeks
- Detailed assessments were made of gait (walking), cognition, and handling dual tasks
- Significant improvements were measured in gait speed during normal walking, and when performing a cognitive task while walking
- Participants also expressed improved mood, happiness and greater confidence in their walking