The Science Behind Why Zumba® Works

We always have a great time at our favorite fitness party, and we know we feel like we’ve gotten a great workout. But, did you know that research has confirmed how effective the Zumba® program is at helping burn calories, improve body composition, and make us feel great about ourselves. Here are some research findings that make us even more proud to call Zumba our favorite fitness activity!

The American Council on Exercise (ACE) and the University of Wisconsin did an experimental study in 2012 and found that participants burned a whopping 10 calories PER MINUTE during Zumba class. Researchers called Zumba a “high-energy aerobic workout” and say it’s also great for core strengthening and improving flexibility.

In 2014, a group of European researchers concluded that Zumba improves body composition, finding that after 24 sessions over 8 weeks, study participants experienced statistically significant results in weight loss and body fat percentage.

Another 2014 study conducted by the Maltese government set out to specifically study the effect of Zumba on overweight and obese individuals. Preliminary results showed significant decreases in both weight and body mass index (BMI), and researchers hope to learn more about exactly what led to these promising results.

A 2015 study conducted at the University of California found that while exercise is perceived by many as “boring, stressful, painful, [and] lonely,” Zumba is described as “fun, stress free, holistic, [and] socially supportive.”

A 2016 study from National University focused on the impact of Zumba on people with developmental disabilities; research suggests that people with disabilities benefit greatly from exercise but are less likely to engage in physical activity than those without disabilities. Researchers confirmed that Zumba is effective in improving speed, flexibility, and endurance for people living with disabilities and that it’s a great way to encourage people to be more active.


Jennifer Lauren

Jennifer Lauren is a Zumba® instructor from New York. She blogs about teaching Zumba® classes and all things fitness at



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