Objective: To test the effectiveness of a dance program to improve fitness and adherence to physical activity in subjects with type 2 diabetes and obesity.
Research design and methods: Following a motivational interviewing session, 100 subjects with diabetes and/or obesity were enrolled either in a dance program (DP, n = 42) or in a self-selected physical activity program (SSP, n = 58), according to their preferences. Outcome measures were reduced BMI/waist circumference, improved metabolic control in type 2 diabetes (-0.3% reduction of HbA1c) and improved fitness (activity expenditure >10 MET-hour/week; 10% increase in 6-min walk test (6MWT)). Target achievement was tested at 3 and 6 months, after adjustment for baseline data (propensity score).
Results: Attrition was lower in DP. Both programs significantly decreased body weight (on average, -2.6 kg; P < 0.001) and waist circumference (DP, -3.2 cm; SSP, -2.2; P < 0.01) at 3 months, and the results were maintained at 6 months. In DP, the activity-related energy expenditure averaged 13.5 ± 1.8 MET-hour/week in the first three months and 14.1 ± 3.0 in the second three-month period. In SSP, activity energy expenditure was higher but highly variable in the first three-month period (16.5 ± 13.9 MET-hour/week), and decreased in the following three months (14.2 ± 12.3; P vs. first period < 0.001). At three months, no differences in target achievement were observed between groups. After six months the odds to attain the MET, 6MWT and A1c targets were all significantly associated with DP.
Conclusion: Dance may be an effective strategy to implement physical activity in motivated subjects with type 2 diabetes or obesity (Clinical trial reg. no.NCT02021890, clinicaltrials.gov).