Dogs in the Home a Healthy Environment

Thu, 23 Sep 2010

A home with a dog could well be a favourable place to bring up children for health reasons. These are the findings of a recent large-scale study of urban primary schools in the UK. Studying exercise trends in schoolchildren, researchers came to the conclusion that reduced obesity rates were present in children brought up in families owning a dog .

The researchers based in St. George’s, University of London studied the cardiac conditioning of children across the country in a study using over 2000 participants. The research followed the physical activity of the 9 and 10 year olds over their daily routines.

Looking more closely at the 10 per cent of children who owned a dog it was clear that they took part in significantly more exercise and lived a much less sedentary lifestyle . The trend was observed to be present in both boys and girls.

The researchers admitted however, that they couldn’t conclusively say whether more active families tend to own dogs or families were more active because they owned dogs. Christopher Owen, senior lecturer in epidemiology at St George's said: "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".

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