Are Dog Walkers the New Crime Busters?
“Walkin’ the Dog,” isn’t just a yo-yo trick or old (but fabulous!) Aerosmith song–now science is proving that it’s not only good for keeping you more active, but helping you feel safe too.
Dr. Hayley Christian with the University of Western Australia collaborated with the WALTHAM Center for Pet Nutrition to study the relationship between dog walking, physical activity and community safety perceptions. The study was an international one, with more over 1000 dog owners from Perth, Australia, San Diego, CA, Nashville, TN and Portland, OR, and results didn’t differ much based on geographical location.
Dr. Hayley found that people who consistently walked their dogs were more physically active (at least 30 minutes) on more days of the week than those who did not consistently walk their dogs. The World Health Organization recommends at least 150 minutes of some type of physical activity every week, so those in this study who regularly walked their dogs met this suggestion easily.
In addition to being more physically active, the study found that nearly two-thirds of the consistent dog walker participants said they felt safer when they were walking with their dogs. More women reported this feeling of security than men did, but overall, and especially in the United States, the ‘dog walkers’ felt more safe and secure in their neighborhoods and felt more vigilant about neighborhood awareness when walking with their dogs.
Which basically means that when you are walking your dog, not only are you (and your dog) getting great exercise, you feel like a badass protecting your ‘hood.
Dog walking for the win! Science says so!
More by Lori Ennis