Want a long, active life? Walk your dog on a daily basis to boost your energy
Research findings suggest that dog ownership or community schemes for dog walking form part of exercise on prescription for an older age group.Updated: Jul 25, 2017 17:24 IST
Humans and dogs both need to indulge in certain activity for their physical and mental stimulation. Taking the dog out for a walk may boost older people’s physical activity levels and seems to lop an average of 30 minutes off their daily sitting time.
Research findings suggest that dog ownership or community schemes for dog walking could form part of exercise on prescription for this age group. As adults age, they tend to become less active: in the UK alone it is estimated that less than half of older adults engage in the recommended weekly quota of at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity.
To find out if dog walking might motivate older adults to become more active, the researchers used data from participants in the Norfolk arm of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC). EPIC, which began in 1993, originally aimed to look at the potential links between diet and cancer. But it has since broadened its focus to include the factors associated with long term conditions, disability, and death in middle age and later life.
Regular dog walkers were more active even on the shortest days than either of the other two groups. Their physical activity levels were typically 20% higher, and they spent 30 fewer minutes every day sitting down than did people who didn’t own dogs.
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First Published: Jul 25, 2017 17:23 IST