It's Not Just Teens: All Dog Owners Are More Likely to Exercise

 |  Mar 16th 2011  |   0 Contributions


Walking the dogphoto 2009 Ewen Roberts | more info (via: Wylio)
A month ago the Vet Blog reported on a study. The study showed that teenagers living in houses with dogs got more exercise than their peers.

In a completely unsurprising turn of events, HealthDay reports on a new study that is out. This one finds that it's not just dog owning teenagers that get more exercise. Dog owners in general are more likely to put down the Wii, get off the sofa, and get out of the house. From HealthDay:

Owning a dog may do your heart good, literally.

New research shows that people who own dogs are about 34 percent more likely to get the recommended minimum amount of exercise each week, thanks to their furry friends.

"Dogs can be a great motivator for physical activity. People who walk their dogs, walk more. They walk about an hour longer each week," said study author Mathew Reeves, an associate professor of epidemiology at the Michigan State University in East Lansing.

Reeves, who is also a veterinarian, added that the public health problem of obesity affects both humans and pets, and said there are "just as many health benefits from walking for the pet as for the owner." So, he suggested, even if you can't seem to get moving to improve your own health, maybe keeping your canine healthy will be the motivator you need.

The article goes on to detail some additional findings of the study:

Forty-one percent of the respondents owned a dog. Of those, almost two-thirds reported walking their dog for at least 10 minutes at a time. The remaining one-third didn't regularly walk their dogs.

Overall, dog owners were 69 percent more likely to get any leisure-time physical activity than non-dog owners, and they were 34 percent more likely to meet the U.S. government-recommended physical activity guidelines of 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise each week.

However, although dog walkers are less susceptible to old fashioned American sloth, many of them still aren't getting as much exercise as they should. Neither are their dogs.

"When you look at dog walkers, only 27 percent get the 150 minutes of activity benchmarks, so dog walkers could probably be walking more often and can walk longer," said Reeves. "And, for the almost 40 percent of dog owners who didn't walk at all, they really should be walking their dogs. Every dog should have the opportunity to get out and walk."

I completely agree. So with that I'll wrap up this post and get my pal Buster out of the house.

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