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Fit to Dance Survey: Elements of Lifestyle and Injury Incidence in Chinese Dancers

Yanan Dang, Yiannis Koutedakis, Matthew Wyon
From: Medical Problems of Performing Artists: Volume 35 Number 1: Page 10 (March 2020)

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Abstract: The Fit to Dance survey has been conducted using primarily Western participants and has provided foundation data for other studies. The purpose of the current study was to replicate the Fit to Dance 2 survey focusing on features of health and injuries in pre-professional and professional Chinese dancers of different genres. The survey was translated into Chinese with several new and modified questions. The survey was posted online for a 3-month period. A total of 1,040 individuals (82.8% female) completed the questionnaire, including 871 dance students (83.7%) and 169 professional dancers (16.3%), with focus in Chinese folk dance (44.4%), Chinese classical dance (25.6%), ballet (10.2%), and contemporary dance (9.8%). Compared to the Fit to Dance 2 survey, alcohol consumption (29% vs 82%; p<0.01) and smoking (13% vs 21%; p<0.05) were significantly less in Chinese dancers, but a higher percentage reported using weight-reducing eating plans (57% vs 23%; p<0.01) or having psychological issues with food (27% vs 24%; p<0.05). Reported injuries in a 12-month period prior to data collection were significantly lower in Chinese dancers (49% vs 80%; p<0.01). The type of injury (muscle and joint/ligament) and perceived cause of injury (fatigue, overwork, and reoccurrence of an old injury) were the same in both the current and previous survey. Mean injury rate ranged from 4.9 injuries/dancer (contemporary) to 3.4 injuries/dancer (Chinese folk dance), which is comparable to previously reported data on Western dance populations. This report provides the first comprehensive data on the health and injury incidence of Chinese dancers.

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