A group of Michigan-based researchers has discovered that dog walkers tend to get more exercise than the average person – clocking in at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise each week.
The study shows that people who own and regularly walk a dog are 34% more physically active and are more likely to be in other activities such as dancing, gardening, and playing sports.
Michigan State University researcher Mathew Reeves states: “Obviously you would expect dog walkers to walk more, but we found people who walked their dog also had higher overall levels of both moderate and vigorous physical activities. There appears to be a strong link between owning and walking a dog and achieving higher levels of physical activity, even after accounting for the actual dog walking.”
Other facts that the study says:
- About 70% of dog owners regularly walk their dog
- Younger dogs get more walks with their owners than older dogs.
- Large dogs get longer walks with their owners than smaller ones.
The research has been published in the latest issue of the Journal of Physical Activity and Health. It concludes that public health campaigns that promote responsible dog ownership and dog walking can be used to encourage physical activities among American, thus improving their general health.