Energy expenditure and intensity of ritual jumping-dancing in male Maasai

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OBJECTIVES: Traditional jumping-dance rituals performed by Maasai men involve prolonged physical exertion that may contribute significantly to overall physical activity level. We aimed to objectively quantify the metabolic intensity of jumping-dance activity and assess associations with habitual physical activity and cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF).

METHODS: Twenty Maasai men (18-37 years) from rural Tanzania volunteered to participate in the study. Habitual physical activity was monitored using combined heart rate (HR) and movement sensing over 3 days, and jumping-dance engagement was self-reported. A 1-h jumping-dance session resembling a traditional ritual was organized, during which participants' vertical acceleration and HR were monitored. An incremental, submaximal 8-min step test was performed to calibrate HR to physical activity energy expenditure (PAEE) and assess CRF.

RESULTS: Mean (range) habitual PAEE was 60 (37-116) kJ day -1  kg -1 , and CRF was 43 (32-54) mL O 2  min -1  kg -1 . The jumping-dance activity was performed at an absolute HR of 122 (83-169) beats·min -1 , and PAEE of 283 (84-484) J min -1  kg -1 or 42 (18-75)% when expressed relative to CRF. The total PAEE for the session was 17 (range 5-29) kJ kg -1 , ~28% of the daily total. Self-reported engagement in habitual jumping-dance frequency was 3.8 (1-7) sessions/week, with a total duration of 2.1 (0.5-6.0) h/session.

CONCLUSIONS: Intensity during traditional jumping-dance activity was moderate, but on average sevenfold higher than habitual physical activity. These rituals are common, and can make a substantial contribution to overall physical activity in Maasai men, and thus be promoted as a culture-specific activity to increase energy expenditure and maintain good health in this population.

TidsskriftAmerican journal of human biology : the official journal of the Human Biology Council
Udgave nummer9
Antal sider10
StatusUdgivet - 2023

Bibliografisk note

© 2023 The Authors. American Journal of Human Biology published by Wiley Periodicals LLC.

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