Dogs: they’re not only a man’s best friend, but also a teenager’s personal trainer. According to recent research, adolescents in families who own dogs exercise more than their puppy-less neighbors. Though the impact appears to be minimal, given the childhood obesity epidemic, any excuse to get extra activity can help.
Previous research has shown that adults exercise more when they own dogs, so this study sought to determine whether the health benefits carry over to their children as well. The results are hardly outstanding, however. Teenagers with dogs exercise rigorously about an extra twenty minutes per week. They also spend seven fewer minutes a day sitting inactively than their peers without canine companions.
These figures alone probably aren’t even to prompt anyone to rush out to get a pooch. Because of the study’s setup, researchers aren’t even able to determine how much of the teenagers’ exercise occurred in the company of the dog. Nevertheless, when you factor in that dogs help combat depression, it appears that pups can be useful in improving your physical and mental wellness.
If your family already owns a dog, make sure you’re taking advantage of its healthful benefits. Your dogs aren’t the only ones who could use a jog – so could your kids!