Royal Scottish Country Dance Society launches new Health Strategy at GCU

10 October 2012

Eight RSCDS dancers took part in the display

Eight RSCDS dancers took part in the display

The Royal Scottish Country Dance Society (RSCDS) has launched its new Health Strategy during a high-profile event held at Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU).

The event featured an address from Sir Harry Burns, Chief Medical Officer, Scottish Government, who focused on the health benefits of physical activity alongside other strategies to improve public health before officially launching the new strategy.

A public display from eight RSCDS dancers of all ages followed the presentations.

A growing body of scientific evidence demonstrates the health benefits to be gained through taking regular part in the activity. This includes work recently completed by GCU researchers which suggested dancing may have a role to play in helping bone strength and could potentially help prevent osteoporosis.

GCU researchers used a force plate to measure the stresses which go through the lower limbs when dancing the ‘pas-de-bas’ step, a feature of many popular dances.  The team discovered that 1.94 x the dancer’s body weight goes through the lower limbs when carrying out the step – a force within the range found to be beneficial for postmenopausal women for the prevention of osteoporosis.

The new RSCDS strategy aims to encourage those with a range of health issues to participate in Scottish country dancing, increase regular attendance of those with a range of health issues at classes and dance event and bolster RSCDS membership to safeguard Scottish country dancing for future generations

The strategy will be implemented by providing information to health service providers, local councils and other relevant agencies in the public and voluntary sectors.

The RSCDS is also launching a new marketing push, highlighting the benefits of Scottish country dancing with a poster campaign and other recruitment materials in key areas and centres.

Ruth Beattie, RSCDS chairman, said: “Scottish country dancing is a fantastic way to build up levels of fitness. It can contribute to the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Maybe that’s down to exercising the brain when memorising steps and formations.

“The social aspect of Scottish country dancing develops a sense of community and enjoyment, which encourages continued participation and, therefore, long term involvement in the physical activity.

“I want to thank the University for their support with the launch. It really has been a tremendous day.”