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  5. National Fitness Day 2023 – celebrating the benefits of dance

20 September 2023

National Fitness Day 2023 is a chance to highlight the role physical activity plays across the UK, raising awareness of its importance in assisting us to lead healthier lifestyles. 2023’s theme is 'Your Health is for Life', celebrating the life-long physical and mental benefits of being active.

With this in mind, Sport and Recreation Alliance’s recent report ‘The Social Value of Movement and Dance to the UK’ is a great place to start: an articulation of the social value of movement and dance. Being more active doesn't necessarily mean exercising more. In fact, increasing our day-to-day movement is just as important as regular exercise.

ISTD is a member of the Sports and Recreation Alliance and supported the development of this report over the past several months.

As you would expect, the report found that movement and dance is extremely beneficial to a person’s health, both physical and mental, including:

  • Physical confidence
  • Cardiovascular fitness and stamina
  • Balance
  • Muscular strength and endurance
  • Body posture and awareness
  • Flexibility
  • Bone strength and resistance
  • Weight management
  • Physical ability

Of course, the benefits of dance go beyond the physical, having a direct impact on mental health, from short term benefits directly following a session or class (increase in energy levels, stress relief, etc.) to longer term: senses of community, reduction in loneliness and more.

In addition, the report has found that dance can have a direct impact on personal wellbeing and development: improving confidence, self-esteem and concentration.

Our Chief Executive Officer, Ginny Brown, recently attended an event to celebrate the launch of ‘The Social Value of Movement and Dance to the UK’, and had this to say:

"It was my pleasure to accompany ISTD member, Shirley Ballas, to the launch of this important report. Those of us who work in dance know the many benefits that it brings to our students. But this report clearly articulates the benefits to both individuals and the country as a whole in improved physical and mental health, community engagement and individual development."

More information, including the full report, can be found here

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