Study finds that dog owners walk nearly 4 times more than non-owners

Participants were asked to complete questionnaires based on their weekly activity levels. They were also provided with activity monitors.

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Owning a dog has its benefits aside from being man’s best friend, such as taking your dog for its daily walk leads to a healthier lifestyle, a new study found.

More than half of dog owners are meeting their physical activity guidelines because of their routine walks with their pets compared to those without animals. Research published recently in Scientific Reports conducted a study where it examined nearly 700 people in a single neighborhood in the UK including 191 dog owning adults and around 70 children, as well. The study’s mission was simple: they wanted to find out the physical activity levels difference between those who own a pup and those who didn’t.

Participants were asked to complete questionnaires based on their weekly activity levels. They were also provided with activity monitors to give a better reading of their habits.

The results weren’t surprising: dog owners walked far more than those without dogs in their homes. According to the research, dog owners were four times as likely to meet physical activity guidelines than those without a pooch.

More than half of dog owners reported walking their pet at least 150 minutes at a walking pace of 2.5 miles per hour, which is considered moderate exercise. The owners averaged seven walks per week for a total of 228 walking minutes.

It was about 200 more walking minutes per week compared to people without dogs.

In the US, the tale isn’t the same. A study published in 2011 found that just 27% of US dog owners walked their dog for at least 150 minutes per week.

Walking is pivotal toward your health, according to the Mayo Clinic. A regular walking routine could help you maintain a healthy weight, prevent heart disease or high blood pressure, strengthen your bones and muscle and even improve your mood.


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Kyle Schnitzer|is a reporter for Ladders and can be reached at kschnitzer@theladders.com.