A recent study on the influence of dog ownership on levels of physical activity found that dog owners walk, on average, an additional 22 minutes everyday. This probably doesn’t come as a surprise to dog owners out there, or anybody else for that matter. After all, how many people are self-motivated to go for an aimless evening stroll every evening?
Having a dog comes with the obligation of taking the dog outside for a stroll – it’s generally agreed this is important for their wellbeing. The variety of smells is mentally stimulating – I liken it to them reading up on doggie politics! – and there’s always a good chance they’ll encounter another doggy they can share a moment of socialisation with.
It’s all about the Step Counts!
The average step count for a sedentary person – someone who spends more time sitting than exercising (ie. most of the working 9-5 population) is around 1,000 in the UK . You’ve probably heard before that the recommended number of steps each day to aim for is 10,000. That’s a pretty big gap to see on a national level!
Good news for dog owners – that 20 minute plus walk you take each day translates to approximately 2,800 steps! On top of that, dog owners also tend to walk at a greater intensity, which can be just as healthy for the heart as running. In fact, the American Heart Association found in an analysis that owning a dog protects against cardiovascular disease. They also found that dog owners are less likely to smoke tobacco.
So long story short, folks – your love for your dog helps you achieve a fitter you. And there’s a good chance it makes you generally happier, too. Keep up the good work!
Do you agree your dog helps keep you fit? Tell us your thoughts in the comments!