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Dog owners are four times more likely to lead an active lifestyle, the study claims

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Dog owners are fitter than other people, a study suggests. They tend to walk longer and more often than non-owners, and four times more likely to meet the exercise guidelines for a healthy life.

And, usually, they go for walks on the top of other sports activities, such as cycling and running, rather than instead of it.

The researchers say that their findings underline the need for more dog-friendly houses, parks, and trails.

“Our findings should be used to justify the provision of the dog of a supportive environment for walking-and pet-friendly housing,” a researcher said.
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Study Leader Dr. Carri Westgarth said: “Without dogs, is the likely population of physical activity would be much lower.”

The results come from a University of Liverpool study, in which 191 owners of the dog and 455 non-owners were asked about their physical activity.

The owners walked an average of 9.6 times per week for a total of 347 minutes, the researchers found. Non-owners had 4.6 walks last a total of 159 minutes.

It meant almost nine out of 10 dog owners met the recommended target of at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity per week, compared with about six in 10 non-owners.

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However, when factors such as age and gender were stripped out, the figures revealed, the owners of the dog were four times more likely to hit targets.

Westgarth said that walking a dog outside is also a boost for the mental health and sense of community.

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“Our findings should be used to justify the provision of the dog of a supportive environment for walking-and pet-friendly housing,” she added.

This story originally appeared on The Sun. Read more content out of The Sun here.

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