The first evaluation report on Aesop’s £2.1 million ‘Phase 1 Roll-out’ of Dance to Health is now available. Public Health England advised on tendering the evaluation and Sheffield Hallam University’s Sport Industry Research Centre was appointed.

The new report concludes that Dance to Health offers the health system a more effective and cost-effective means to address the issue of older people’s falls, which currently cost the NHS £2.3 billion annually.

Participants overcome lost confidence, reduced independence and social isolation through taking part in weekly Dance to Health classes designed to increase stability and flexibility.

Other headline results show that:

  • For participants that could recall a fall in the previous 12 months, there was a 44% reduction in the number of falls
  • 88% of participants stated that as a result of Dance to Health they feel they are more physically active
  • 95% stated that they felt Dance to Health has improved their mental wellbeing, including a significant reduction in sense of loneliness and isolation
  • 97% would recommend Dance to Health to friends and family
  • Based on the analysis, there is a potential cost saving of over £149 million over a 2-year period, of which £120 million is a potential cost saving for the NHS

The use of music and storytelling empowered participants to engage in movement; they were encouraged to move limbs through a range of movements and gain confidence to ‘go further’, reaching higher or bending lower, as they were embraced by the music and lost in the storytelling or memories.

A final evaluation of Phase 1 Roll-out will be published in the autumn. Comments and feedback on this report are welcome and will be fed into the final evaluation process. They should be submitted to by 30 August 2019.

Download the evaluation report.