Ballroom Dancing

Ballroom Dancing

Whilst it may have got the nation toe tapping on Saturday nights, experts warn that Strictly Come Dancing and its rising number of arm chair enthusiasts will prompt a three-fold increase in foot and ankle injuries and two-fold increase in back and spinal injury meaning we could be hot stepping into a future of bad physique and posture more akin to John Sergeant than Alesha Dixon.

Since the beginning of Strictly Come Dancing almost half of its fans (44%) have tried ballroom dancing but with similar consequences to the show¹s rising injury rate.

Series seven of the show has seen the highest rate of injured stars and worryingly a quarter (25%) of fans now say they have been injured too as a result of taking up amateur dancing.

With one in five of us failing to exercise even once a week3, the MBT Academy warns that the poor fitness and physiques of couch potato fans will create a potential hot potato of both short and long term health problems in the future.

Hot stepping it into the leader board of most common injuries and health implications are:

- Foot pain (including bunions, stress fractures, meta-tarsalgia and toenail) this can lead to problems with arthritis, decreased overall injuries

- Lower back pain which can lead to Arthritis, chronic back pain, disc problems

- Ankle sprains which can lead to an increased risk of further sprains, ankle arthritis,decreased balance later in life

- Anterior knee pain this can result in knee arthritis and swelling

The results have prompted ex-Strictly professional dancer, Andrew Cuerden, to predict a depressingly low score for the nation¹s potential as graceful dancers. He comments: "Good general fitness, core strength and posture are vital for ballroom dancing. Without these both celebrities and armchair enthusiasts will risk injury and disappointment on the dance floor".

Joshua Wies, Chartered Physiotherapist and Director of the MBT Academy comments: "One can't deny that Strictly has had a good impact on getting Brits off the sofa and into exercise, but people must concentrate on improving their general fitness before rushing too quickly into a dance studio, as the potential for injury may simply negate all the potential benefits of the sport".

Joshua has the following tips for helping people gently ease themselves into
amateur dancing with minimal injury/consequence:

- Think of dancing like a sport ­ remember to warm up and cool down (warm up with gentle movement to increase the heart rate and get the blood flowing to the big muscles and joints in the legs and back; cool down by keeping moving after you dance for up to fifteen minutes and stretching the legs to keep them supple)

- With ballroom dance in particular, there are often long breaks between dances - keep your body warm during these breaks so your muscles don¹t get tight

- Maintain your fitness outside of the dance studio with activity such as walking and stretching along with core exercises such as Pilates to keep the back strong and flexible

- Make a simple walk to the supermarket a work out by wearing physiological footwear such as MBT shoes, which will strengthen your core muscles and improve posture and gait

Wearing MBT footwear on a regular basis or for training helps joint stability, core muscle strength, co-ordination and agility, while also helping prevent injury and aiding muscle regeneration and rehabilitation.

They also assist recovery after training and provide rehabilitation after injury, because the sole's technology improves muscle function and minimises loading and stress on vulnerable joints.

Strictly come dancing celebrity injuries

Series 7: five stars injured to date

- Phil Tuffnell ­ cartilage damage
- Ricki Groves ­ tendonitis in the leg
- Ali Bastien ­ bruised foot
- Laila Rouass ­ sprained ankle
- Jade Johnson ­ knee joint injury

Series 6: five stars injured

- Rachel Stevens ­ back injury
- Jodie Kidd ­ broken rib
- John Sargeant ­ injured both feet
- Andrew Castle ­ two broken toes
- Austin Healy ­ pulled back muscles

Series 5: four injured stars

- Kate Garraway ­ tendonitis in the foot
- Stephanie Beecham ­ severe back pain
- Matt di¹ Angelo ­ injured knee
- Penny Lancaster ­ Bruised and blistered feet

Series 4: two injured stars

- Mark Ramprakash ­ severely bruised feet
- Mica Paris ­ hip injury

Series 3: Colin Jackson ­ torn foot muscles

Series 2: Carol Vorderman ­ torn cartilage

Series 1: two injured stars

- Martin Offiah ­ ankle injury
- Claire Sweeny ­ back injury