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March 16, 2011 | 2 minute read

Dog Owners More Likely to be Active

Those early morning dog walks can now give dog owners something else to feel good about: A new study suggests that dog owners walk more and get more physical activity overall than their non-dog owning counterparts.

And among dog owners, those who walked their canines walked about an hour more per week compared to non-dog walkers.

In the study, researchers asked about 5,900 Michigan residents their walking and overall activity habits. And the dog owners were asked about their dog-walking habits. (About 40 percent of the participants owned dogs.) If participants walked their pet at least 10 minutes at a time, they were classified as a dog walker.

It probably comes as no surprise to dog owners that they walked significantly more than non-dog owners. Slightly over a quarter walked their dog at least 150 minutes per week, the amount of activity recommended by the government. AICR recommends at least 30 minutes of daily moderate activity for cancer prevention.

But dog owners also were far more likely — 69 percent — of doing any physical activity at all, such as running, golf or gardening, when compared to non-dog owners.

The study was published this month in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health; you can read the abstract here.

For cat people or anyone who needs help adding activity into their day, visit AICR for some strategies.

Dog owners: what do you think about this study? Has having your dog helped you?

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