Background: The physical and mental health of college students tends to continuously decline worldwide. Thus, improving their health is necessary. Jazz dance may be one of the effective exercises to improve one's health. However, the effect of jazz dance exercise on different physical fitness level and whether the intensity of jazz dance exercises can improve physical and mental health simultaneously and efficiently need to be investigated. In this study, we systematically assessed the effect of jazz dance on physical and mental health of college students by a rigorous randomized, parallel-controlled design.
Methods: An experimental study including 90 Chinese female college students (junior and senior) was performed. They completed an 8-week jazz dance class (two times/week for 70 min per session). Data on psychological status were obtained using the Subjective Exercise Experiences Scale after every class. Based on the Japanese national physical fitness test method, we identified the body weight and Body Mass Index and the students performed 30-s sit ups, standing long jump, 20s repeated across the body, and seated forward flexion to determine their physical fitness at baseline and after 8 weeks. Repeated measures analyses of variance and paired samples t-tests were used to compare the means of the participants' data.
Results: Differences in the mean of mental health scores over time were significant and showed an increasing trend (P<0.005) in all groups. Physical fitness showed an increasing trend in the low fitness level group. Most of the variables decreased slightly in the high fitness level group; however, flexibility significantly decreased.
Conclusions: Among the participants with different physical fitness, a similar training has different training effects. This study demonstrates that appropriate training intensity and content are vital to improve physical and mental health.