Physical and psychological benefits of a 24-week traditional dance program in breast cancer survivors

J Bodyw Mov Ther. 2011 Apr;15(2):162-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jbmt.2010.03.002. Epub 2010 Apr 13.


The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the influence of a mixed exercise program, including Greek traditional dances and upper body training, in physical function, strength and psychological condition of breast cancer survivors. Twenty-seven women (N = 27), who had been diagnosed and surgically treated for breast cancer, volunteered to participate in this study. The experimental group consisted of 14 women with mean age 56.6 (4.2) years. They attended supervised Greek traditional dance courses and upper body training (1 h, 3 sessions/week) for 24 weeks. The control group consisted of 13 sedentary women with mean age 57.1 (4.1) years. Blood pressure, heart rate, physical function (6-min walking test), handgrip strength, arm volume and psychological condition (Life Satisfaction Inventory and Beck Depression Inventory) were evaluated before and after the exercise program. The results showed significant increases of 19.9% for physical function, 24.3% for right handgrip strength, 26.1% for left handgrip strength, 36.3% for life satisfaction and also a decrease of 35% for depressive symptoms in the experimental group after the training program. Significant reductions of 9% for left hand and 13.7% for right hand arm volume were also found in the experimental group. Consequently, aerobic exercise with Greek traditional dances and upper body training could be an alternative choice of physical activity for breast cancer survivors, thus promoting benefits in physical function, strength and psychological condition.

MeSH terms

  • Blood Pressure
  • Breast Neoplasms / psychology
  • Breast Neoplasms / rehabilitation*
  • Dance Therapy / methods*
  • Depression / psychology
  • Female
  • Hand Strength
  • Heart Rate
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Life / psychology
  • Survivors*