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Steppin’ Grannies Groove to Good Health

Posted By: Nneka Opene | Filed under: Dance Fitness and Health | Oct 18, 2017
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Since 2012 the Steppin’ Grannies dance fitness group have been taking the Dallas-Fort Worth area of Texas by storm with their spunky moves and infectious grooves.

Comprised of women (mostly grandma’s – hence the name) ranging from age 60-80, the group formed as a way to advocate for fall prevention. However, they’ve since branched out to include a wider message of overall fitness, even performing at events such as the African-American Health Fair.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=ZUSaJyH8Pyc
The Steppin’ Grannies show how healthy they feel at this health fair.
The Steppin’ Grannies describe their style as hip-hop line dancing and praise dancing wrapped into one. They can be seen performing flash mob style demos at shopping malls, crowded squares and other popular areas where crowds gather, all in efforts of sharing their message of mobility through movement with the world.
Considering that the dance team ranges in age from about 60 to 80, and that many have already survived serious conditions, is a testament to the level of fitness their dancing has afforded them. They all credit the  dancing for improving their physicality and overall well being, as well as making a difference in the community by inspriring others to get up and get moving, regardless of age or dance ability.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p49qHabXn3A

Falls are the leading cause of fatal injury and the most common cause of nonfatal trauma-related hospital admissions among older adults. Falls result in more than 2.8 million injuries treated in emergency departments annually, including over 800,000 hospitalizations and more than 27,000 deaths, according to NCOA.org. The National Council On Aging (NCOA) also adds that ‘Falling is not an inevitable result of aging. Through practical lifestyle adjustments, evidence-based falls prevention programs, and clinical-community partnerships, the number of falls among seniors can be substantially reduced.’

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • Falls result in more than 2.8 million injuries treated in emergency departments annually, including over 800,000 hospitalizations and more than 27,000 deaths.
  • One in four Americans aged 65+ falls each year.
  • Falls result in more than 2.8 million injuries treated in emergency departments annually, including over 800,000 hospitalizations and more than 27,000 deaths.
  • Every 11 seconds, an older adult is treated in the emergency room for a fall; every 19 minutes, an older adult dies from a fall.

 

The NCOA leads the National Falls Prevention Resource Center. One of the primary roles of the NCOA’s is to increase public awareness and educate consumers and professionals about the risk of falls, and how to prevent them.

 

Steppin’ Grannies showcase at Fall Prevention Day event.

 

This was the catalyst for The United Way of Tarrant County’s Area Agency on Aging to partner with groups like Tarrant County Public Health, AARP Texas and Brookdale Senior Living, Inc., Fort Worth Safe Communities Coalition, Sixty & Better, JPS Health Network, UNT Health Science Center, National Council on Aging (NCOA), and the Falls Free® Coalition to put the Steppin’ Grannies center stage and in the spotlight for Fall Prevention Awareness Day.
Tactical partnerships like these have given way to the success of programs such as A Matter of Balance, a series of proven eight free fall-prevention classes that helps participants overcome their fear of falling, increase their strength, balance and flexibility and if they do fall, minimize injury while accelerating recovery. According to the United Way of Tarrant County’s 2015-2016 Annual Report, 84% of a Matter of Balance class participants felt better physically and mentally.
The moral of the story is to minimize fall risk and maximize movement, get to steppin’!

About the author:

Having fearlessly explored every continent, Nneka is multi-lingual and passionate about travel, culture and life. A SDSU alumni, she has worked in KTVU Fox's newsroom, interviewed notable figures and hosted programs for various media outlets. She has also written features for The San Leandro Times and LostGirlsWorld.com. Also a seasoned performer and fitness professional, Nneka holds several fitness certifications, has shared the stage with entertainment icons, and has appeared on various TV Shows.

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