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Am J Prev Med. 2011 Mar;40(3):334-7. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2010.11.007.

Dog ownership and adolescent physical activity.

Author information

  • 1Kinesiology Program, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia, 210 Emmet Street South, Charlottesville, VA 22904, USA. jrs2wq@virginia.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Positive associations between dog ownership and adult health outcomes have been observed, but research involving youth is lacking.

PURPOSE:

The purpose of this study was to assess the relationship of family dog ownership to adolescent physical activity.

METHODS:

Data were collected on dog ownership in 618 adolescent/parent pairs between 9/2006 and 6/2008 and analyzed in 2010. Adolescent physical activity was assessed by ActiGraph accelerometers.

RESULTS:

Adolescents' mean age was 14.6±1.8 years and 49% were male. White and higher-SES adolescents were more likely to own a dog. In models adjusted for age, puberty, gender, race, total household members, and SES, adolescent physical activity (mean counts·min(-1)day(-1)) remained significantly associated with dog ownership (β=24.3, SE=12.4, p=0.05), whereas the association with minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity per day became nonsignificant (β=2.2, SE=1.2, p=0.07). No significant results were observed for other adolescent characteristics.

CONCLUSIONS:

Dog ownership was associated with more physical activity among adolescents. Further research using longitudinal data will help clarify the role that dog ownership may have on adolescent physical activity.

Copyright © 2011 American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

PMID:
21335266
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3395162
Free PMC Article
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