Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Man’s best friend keeps children on the move

Date:
September 22, 2010
Source:
University of St George's London
Summary:
Children whose families own dogs are more active than those without, according to new research.

New research from the UK finds that children whose families own dogs are more active than those without.
Credit: iStockphoto/Catherine Yeulet

Children whose families own dogs are more active than those without, according to new research. Researchers from St George's, University of London studied 2,065 children aged nine to ten, and found that children from dog-owning families have higher levels of physical activity compared to children without.

The team says owning a dog could encourage more children to be active, and help combat rising childhood obesity.

The researchers, led by Dr Christopher Owen, senior lecturer in epidemiology at St George's, used activity monitors to record the children's daily movement levels over seven days. They studied children aged nine and ten in 78 schools in London, Birmingham and Leicester. Of the total participants, 202 (around ten per cent) owned dogs.

The results -- published in the American Journal of Public Health -- showed that the children with dogs spent an average of 325 minutes doing physical activity per day, 11 more than those without dogs. This included time spent in light, moderate, moderate to vigorous, and vigorous activity. Dog owners also spent 11 minutes less (562 altogether) in sedentary behaviour each day. They were found to take 360 more steps (four per cent) than the others.

Dr Owen said: "The more active lifestyles of children from dog-owning families is really interesting -- is it that owning a dog makes you more active or that more active families choose to have a dog? It's a bit of a chicken and egg question. Long-term studies are needed to answer it, but it may be a bit of both."

"Previous studies have compared adult activity levels before and after getting a dog, and found that they do become more active afterwards. This study is novel in showing that children who have a dog are more active, but, again, long term studies are needed to see if the effect is seen before and after owning a dog."

Adults who own dogs take 1,700 more steps a day on average than non-dog owners -- a 25 per cent difference. The latest study says that the smaller difference in children with dogs compared to adults with dogs is 'unsurprising', and suggests that the physical activity they take with their dogs probably makes up less of their overall level of activity than adults'. Dr Owen added that further work is needed to determine how much of dog-owning children's physical activity is actually undertaken with their pet.

He said: "If children really are going for walkies with their dog, this may be one way to encourage more kids to be active."

The study was carried out as part of the Child Heart And health Study in England (CHASE), a St George's project examining the health of about 5,000 primary school children living in London and the Midlands. The study is being undertaken with the support of the Wellcome Trust.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of St George's London. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. C. G. Owen, C. M. Nightingale, A. R. Rudnicka, U. Ekelund, A. M. McMinn, E. M. F. van Sluijs, S. J. Griffin, D. G. Cook, P. H. Whincup. Family Dog Ownership and Levels of Physical Activity in Childhood: Findings From the Child Heart and Health Study in England. American Journal of Public Health, 2010; 100 (9): 1669 DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.2009.188193

Cite This Page:

University of St George's London. "Man’s best friend keeps children on the move." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 September 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100921084919.htm>.
University of St George's London. (2010, September 22). Man’s best friend keeps children on the move. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100921084919.htm
University of St George's London. "Man’s best friend keeps children on the move." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100921084919.htm (accessed September 21, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: San Diego Zoo Welcomes Cheetah Cubs

Raw: San Diego Zoo Welcomes Cheetah Cubs

AP (Sep. 20, 2014) The San Diego Zoo has welcomed two Cheetah cubs to its Safari Park. The nearly three-week-old female cubs are being hand fed and are receiving around the clock care. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chocolate Museum Opens in Brussels

Chocolate Museum Opens in Brussels

AFP (Sep. 19, 2014) Considered a "national heritage" in Belgium, chocolate now has a new museum in Brussels. In a former chocolate factory, visitors to the permanent exhibition spaces, workshops and tastings can discover derivatives of the cocoa bean. Duration: 01:00 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

AP (Sep. 19, 2014) A federal jury has convicted three people in connection with an outbreak of salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number of deaths. (Sept. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins