It turns out, the best thing about your dog might not be their unconditional love. A new study suggests there’s yet another benefit to owning a dog – you walk more.
In a study recently published in BMC Public Health it was determined that dog owners, on average, walked 22 minutes more per day compared to people who did not own a dog.
This United Kingdom study included both genders in the 60+ range. In order to analyze the intensity of the walking, subjects wore activPAL devices 24 hours a day.
Daniel Mills of the University of Lincoln explains this increase in exercise was even considered exercise at a “moderate pace.” Dog owners, according to the research, tend to walk briskly and in return raised their heart rates. Other studies have shown that moderate-intensity walking is just as effective as running in lowering the risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and other conditions.
Adopting a dog might put an end to the excuses some people come up with for not exercising. Walking more isn’t the only added benefit to owning a dog. Analysis from the American Heart Association found dog ownership can actually protect against cardiovascular disease too.