The Health-Enhancing Efficacy of Zumba Fitness: An 8 Wk Randomized Controlled Study

Pablo A. Domene, Hannah J. Moir, Elizabeth Pummell, Chris Easton

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting Abstract


Zumba fitness, a form of Latin-themed aerobic dance, is currently practiced by an estimated 14 million people in over 150 countries, yet minimal evidence from randomized controlled studies exists to substantiate its purported health-enhancing efficacy.PURPOSE: To gain a holistic understanding of the efficacy of Zumba fitness in a community-recruited cohort of overweight and physically inactive women by evaluating i) its physiological effects on cardiovascular risk factors and inflammatory biomarkers and ii) its psychological effects on mood and health-related quality of life (HRQoL).METHODS: Participants, aged 20 to 61 yr, with little or no previous experience in Latin-themed aerobic dance were randomly assigned to either engagement in one to two 1 hr classes of Zumba fitness weekly (intervention group; n = 10) or maintenance of habitual activity (control group; n = 10). Laboratory assessments were conducted pre- (week 0) and post-intervention (week 8) with anthropometric, physiological, inflammatory, mood (recorded via the POMS-2), and HRQoL (recorded via the SF-36) data collected. Psychological measures were again taken at follow-up (week 16).RESULTS: In the intervention group, maximal oxygen uptake significantly increased (P < 0.01) by 3.1 [95% CI 1.0 to 5.1] mL·kg-1·min-1, body fat significantly decreased (P < 0.05) by -1.2 [95% CI -2.3 to -0.0] %, and interleukin-6 and white blood cell count both significantly decreased (P < 0.05) by -0.4 [95% CI -0.8 to -0.1] pg·mL-1 and -2.1 [95% CI -3.5 to -0.7] 109 cells·L-1, respectively. A trend for reduced (P = 0.05) C-reactive protein, by -0.5 [95% CI -1.0 to 0.0] mg·L-1, was also revealed. Large magnitude enhancements were observed in factors of both mood (fatigue-inertia (P < 0.001; partial η2 = 0.69) and vigor-activity (P < 0.05; partial η2 = 0.37)) and HRQoL (physical functioning (P < 0.01; partial η2 = 0.57), general health (P < 0.01; partial η2 = 0.60), energy/fatigue (P < 0.01; partial η2 = 0.55), and emotional well-being (P < 0.001; partial η2 = 0.63)). No differences were found in the control group.CONCLUSIONS: Interpreted in a community-based physical activity and psychosocial health promotion context, our data suggest that Zumba fitness is indeed an efficacious health-enhancing activity for adults.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)332-332
JournalMedicine & Science in Sports & Exercise
Issue number5S
Publication statusPublished - 2015


Dive into the research topics of 'The Health-Enhancing Efficacy of Zumba Fitness: An 8 Wk Randomized Controlled Study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this