Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Fitness study pairs dogs with seniors

Date:
February 6, 2014
Source:
Florida State University
Summary:
Researchers have designed an exercise study to see if exercising with dogs yields better health outcomes.

Lola, Stryker and Bogey aren’t your regular gym rats. In fact, they’re dogs. But three times a week, they’re breaking a sweat with Florida State University doctoral students Ashley Artese and Brandon Grubbs, and residents of the Westminster Oaks Retirement Community.

Artese and Grubbs designed the exercise program under the direction of Associate Professor of Exercise Science Lynn Panton and Associate Professor of Nursing Karla Schmitt as part of a study to look at whether exercising with dogs can lead to better health outcomes.

“Between each exercise, we try to leave a little bit of time so people can pet the dogs and talk to the handlers,” said Artese, a first-year doctoral student in exercise science.

Volunteers for the study at Westminster Oaks were split into two groups of seven. One exercises with dogs trained by Tallahassee Memorial Hospital’s pet therapy program. The other group exercises without them.

Asked Schmitt: “Is it the contact with the animal that is the value? Or, the working and contact with the group?”

At the beginning of the six-week program, researchers took some basic measurements of the participants, which will be repeated at the end. They’re looking at blood pressure, mood, physical ability and whether participants stuck with the program.

Three times a week, Artese and Grubbs take both groups through an exercise program. Walking around the room, biceps curls with light dumb bells and resistance band stretching are all a part of the routine.

When the group working with dogs lift their dumb bells, Bogey picks up a plastic one. And when the seniors walk around the room, Lola, Stryker and Bogey walk in circles too.

“Exercise classes are not something I call fun, but with the dogs, it is fun,” said Mary Stevenson, a Westminster Oaks resident.

Stevenson acknowledged that the dog component convinced her and her husband, David, to sign up for the study. Though not currently pet owners, the two have owned three dogs over the course of their marriage.

“When I heard it was an exercise class with dogs, that definitely peaked my interest,” she said.

The idea initially came from Schmitt, whose dog Hannah has been a pet therapy dog for the past nine years.

But, Schmitt acknowledged, the concept was outside her normal area of research, so she recruited Panton to help develop the exercise component and Associate Professor of Nursing Eileen Cormier to develop an assessment of participants’ well being.

Panton then assigned Artese and Grubbs to help design the actual workout program.

“Exercise — it’s so important, especially as you get older and you lose the ability to do all the things you used to take for granted,” Panton said.

They also worked with the hospital’s pet therapy program to get seven dogs and their handlers to come to Westminster Oaks. In addition to Lola, Stryker and Bogey, there are four other dogs — Cosmo, Casey, Kayla and Zachy.

For now, all of the work is on a volunteer basis, but all of the parties involved hope it will turn into a funded research study in the future. At the end of this program, the professors and doctoral students will review the data to see how it might translate into a large-scale study.

“This will inform some larger studies we’re going to pursue,” Schmitt said.

For example, they may look at doing a pet therapy study focusing on people struggling with obesity.

But for now, the group is simply enjoying working with the residents. “Delightful,” Schmitt said. “It’s been delightful.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Florida State University. The original article was written by Kathleen Haughney. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Florida State University. "Fitness study pairs dogs with seniors." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 February 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140206141855.htm>.
Florida State University. (2014, February 6). Fitness study pairs dogs with seniors. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140206141855.htm
Florida State University. "Fitness study pairs dogs with seniors." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140206141855.htm (accessed April 19, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home

Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home

AP (Apr. 18, 2014) Dairy farmers and ethnic groups in Vermont are both benefiting from a unique collaborative effort that's feeding a growing need for fresh and affordable goat meat. (April 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) Not only are these newly discovered bugs' sex organs reversed, but they also mate for up to 70 hours. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Great British Farmland Boom

The Great British Farmland Boom

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 17, 2014) Britain's troubled Co-operative Group is preparing to cash in on nearly 18,000 acres of farmland in one of the biggest UK land sales in decades. As Ivor Bennett reports, the market timing couldn't be better, with farmland prices soaring over 270 percent in the last 10 years. Video provided by Reuters
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