Benefits of Zumba Fitness® among sedentary adults with components of the metabolic syndrome: a pilot study

J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2015 Oct;55(10):1227-33. Epub 2014 Jun 12.


Aim: The aim of this study was to assess the feasibility of a 12 week Zumba Fitness® pilot study and temporal changes in components of the metabolic syndrome (MetS) among sedentary, obese women with at least two MetS components.

Methods: Participants attended Zumba Fitness® classes twice a week for 12 weeks. Feasibility was measured by recruitment rates, subject retention, and adherence. Anthropometric measures, blood pressure and fasting glucose, triglycerides and HDL-cholesterol were measured at baseline and after the 12 week intervention.

Results: Among the 13 female participants, mean age was 52.5 (SD:10.6) years, 77% were ethnic minorities, mean BMI was 34.5 kg/m2 (SD:4.9) and 69.2% met the MetS criteria. Among 35 adults who completed the telephone eligibility screening, 23 (66%) were eligible for a clinic screening visit, 18 of whom met eligibility criteria, 16 (89%) initiated Zumba classes, and 13 (81%) completed the pilot study. Mean attendance was 17 classes, comprising 71% of the total 24 classes. Weight reduced non-significantly by 0.96 kg (P=0.87) while systolic and diastolic blood pressure decreased by 13.63 (P=0.028) and 6.19 mmHg (P=0.03), respectively with no change in anti-hypertensive medication use. Fasting triglycerides decreased by 16.92 mg/dL (P=0.025) with no participants taking niacin or fibrates prior to or during the study. Mean HDL-cholesterol decreased (by 2.85 mg/dL) and fasting glucose increased slightly (by 1.62 mg/dL), but not significantly.

Conclusion: This twelve week Zumba Fitness® intervention showed good feasibility and adherence, with significant reductions in blood pressure and triglyceride levels, despite minimal weight loss.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anthropometry
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Blood Pressure / physiology
  • Cholesterol, HDL / blood
  • Dancing / physiology*
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Metabolic Syndrome / blood
  • Metabolic Syndrome / prevention & control*
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / blood
  • Pilot Projects
  • Sedentary Behavior
  • Triglycerides / blood
  • Weight Loss


  • Blood Glucose
  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Triglycerides