Wrist-worn accelerometer measures of movement by people with Parkinson’s attending dance classes at the University of Hertfordshire.
The present study investigated the feasibility of using wrist-worn accelerometers to quantify activity by people with Parkinson’s compared with age-matched and younger controls as they participated in a dance class. Background: Dance classes have been reported to improve functional mobility, mood and quality of life in people with Parkinson’s. However, it is unclear whether the amount of activity or other factors such as the social aspects of attending a dance class are important for any benefits. Accelerometers provide an objective way of quantifying the amount of movement made while dancing and in the following hours and days. Methods: People with Parkinson’s attending a weekly dance class at the University of Hertfordshire wore an accelerometer during the class and the following rest session. Partners/carers and younger adults attending the class also wore an accelerometer during the same two-hour period. Results: Data collected to date reveals accurate tracking by the accelerometers in that patterns of activity were very similar in each trio (Parkinson’s, non-Parkinson’s and younger controls) attending the same class. The total amount of activity during the dance class by people with Parkinson’s did not significantly differ from age-matched controls, although was significantly less than for younger controls. Conclusions: Wrist-worn accelerometers provide a feasible way of quantifying activity by people with Parkinson’s as they participate in dance classes. This will allow future studies to compare activity during dance and other types of exercise to investigate the relationship between activity per se and other psychological factors, such as social interaction and mood, to understand how these factors may combine in dance to deliver benefits for Parkinson’s.