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Dog Owners Get More Exercise

The New York Times – Dog owners spent close to 300 minutes each week walking with their dogs, about 200 more minutes of walking than people without dogs. “Dog owners are about four times more likely than other people to meet today’s physical activity guidelines, according to a large-scale new study of dogs and exercise. The study, which involved hundreds of British households, suggests that having a dog can strongly influence how much people exercise. But it also raises questions about why some dog owners never walk their pets or otherwise work out and whether any of us should acquire a dog just to encourage us to move. Most people who live with dogs, including me, are familiar with their joy at ambling along paths, trails and sidewalks. We also have to deal with their jowly dejection when our work deadlines or other issues interfere with walks….So, for the new study, which was published in April in Scientific Reports, they first turned to a neighborhood near Liverpool and began asking families in the area about their lives and pets. The researchers focused on a single community, so that everyone involved should share approximately the same local environment with similar access to sidewalks, parks or other amenities that might affect their exercise routines. They wound up with almost 700 participants from 385 neighboring households, half of them women and most middle-aged, although about 70 children also participated. About a third of these people owned a dog….” [Note: please consider rescue or adoption – and walk, walk, enjoy the outdoors – meet your neighbors and their dogs – and forget about the phone.]

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