Dogs Keep Owners Healthy

Owning a dog may help older adults to meet the World Health Organisation’s recommendations of at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per day, according to a new study.

A dog motivates older adults to be more physically active, researchers said.

Philippa Dall, a senior research fellow at Glasgow Caledonian University in the UK said, “We found that dog owner aged 65 and overspent on average an additional 22 minutes walking, taking an extra 2,760 steps per day when compared to people who did not own a dog,”.

“Over the course of a week this additional time spent walking may in itself be sufficient to meet WHO recommendations of at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity,” said Dall, lead author of the study published in the journal BMC Public Health.

According to Nancy Gee from WALTHAM Centre for Pet Nutrition, UK, “Our results indicate that dog ownership may play an important role in encouraging older adults to walk more,”.

Gee further added “Our research will provide insights into how pet ownership may help older people achieve higher levels of physical activity or maintain their physical activity levels for a longer period of time, which could improve their prospects for a better quality of life, improved or maintained cognition, and perhaps, even overall longevity,”.

The Correspondent bureau with inputs from agencies

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