Maria, E. Bougiesi, Thomy Ζ. Zisi, Vasiliki Z. Zisi*
School of Physical Education and Sport Science, University of Thessaly
Cognitive function is an important parameter of psychological health and affects every day functioning. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine whether participation in Greek traditional dance affects the differentiation of cognitive function, as opposed to other forms of exercise. Methods: The survey involved 262 participants divided into two age categories (young adults: 24-35 years old, seniors> 60 years). They were randomly selected, but in such a way so that they should fall into one of the following groups: a) Greek folk dance classes, b) group – non-dance exercise programs, c) sedentary. Cognitive function was assessed using the paper and pencil test, Digit Symbol Substitution (WAIS – R). Results: According to the 2-way ANOVA, senior Greek folk dancers had better cognitive function than exercisers and sedentary participants of the same age (p<.05). Young adults scored better than seniors (p<. 05), but there were no significant differences among the three physical activity groups (p>.05). Conclusion: The higher cognitive function of senior folk dancers as opposed to exercisers and non-exercisers, shown from the above results might be attributed to the complexity of the Hellenic folk dance as a motor task but it might also linked to other characteristics of this dance, such as the circular form and the haptic connection among the participants.
Keywords: physical activity; Hellenic dance; young adults; older adults.