Walking your dog can make you healthier. According to a recent study by the American College of Sports Medicine in New Orleans, owners who walk their dogs are more active and have less body fat than non-owners and non-walkers.
The study included nearly 2,200 participants from 32 neighborhoods in the Seattle and Baltimore areas. Neighborhoods represented both high- and low-income households and were rated for walkability. Overall physical activity was measured by seven days of step counting and participants reported their time spent walking for leisure each day.
About 28 percent of the sample consisted of dog owners who were divided into groups of those who walked their dogs and those who did not. Nearly 27 percent met physical activity guidelines of 150 minutes per week because of dog walking, while 30 percent of owners spent no time walking. Dog walkers were more likely to live in highly walkable areas than non-dog walkers.
According to Dori E. Rosenberg, lead author of the study, encouraging dog walking among owners who don’t normally walk their dogs can promote improved health.
“More dog walking appears to be a health benefit of living in walkable neighborhoods” says Rosenberg.
For more ways to exercise with your dog, click here.