Effect of regular dance practice on pulmonary functions and respiratory efficiency in female Bharatanatyam dancers – A pilot study
Dance is one of the special forms of exercise which has a wholesome effect on the human body. Practising traditional dance like Bharatanatyam has a potentially positive impact on physical health and may enhance the respiratory system by improving respiratory efficiency which has not explicitly been assessed so far. The study aimed to evaluate the effect of regular dance practice on pulmonary functions and respiratory efficiency in female Bharatanatyam dancers. In order to achieve the purpose of this study, female participants between the age grouping 13-18 years were divided into control group (with no experience of Bharatanatyam dancing) and dancers group (practising Bharatanatyam for 3 years). Using PC based USB Spirometer; data for pulmonary function test was collected by assessing variables like FVC, FEV1, FEV/FVC1, FEF 25% - 75%, PEF, FET, FIVC, PIF, total FEV1%. Data for respiratory efficiency was assessed by testing 40mm endurance test, peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR), respiratory blast test and both in control and the dancer's group. The results were analyzed using students "t" test. Long-term practice of Bharatanatyam practice had significantly increased the respiratory efficiency in dancers (p<0.05) compared to the control group. Thus, the study has found that the practice of regular Bharatanatyam dance will be beneficial in improving pulmonary functions and respiratory efficiency.