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Prev Med. 2015 Jan;70:33-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2014.10.030. Epub 2014 Nov 20.

Relationships between dog ownership and physical activity in postmenopausal women.

Author information

1
Canyon Ranch Center for Prevention and Health Promotion, Mel & Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, Division of Health Promotion Sciences, University of Arizona, 3950S. Country Club, Suite 330, Tucson, AZ 85714, United States. Electronic address: davidogarcia@email.arizona.edu.
2
University of Arizona Cancer Center, 1501N. Campbell Avenue, PO Box 245017, Tucson, AZ 85724, United States. Electronic address: bwertheim@azcc.arizona.edu.
3
Division of Preventive Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, United States; Lee Bell Professor of Women's Health, Harvard Medical School, 900 Commonwealth Avenue, 3rd Floor, Boston, MA 02215, United States. Electronic address: jmanson@rics.bwh.harvard.edu.
4
Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, 1124 West Carson Street J-3, Mailbox 453, Torrance, CA 90502, United States. Electronic address: rowanchlebowski@gmail.com.
5
Department of Nutrition Sciences, Drexel University, 245N. 15th Street, Bellet 521, Mail Stop 1030, Philadelphia, PA 19102, United States. Electronic address: Stella.L.Volpe@drexel.edu.
6
MedStar Research Institute, 6525 Belcrest Road, Suite 700, Hyattsville, MD 20782, United States. Electronic address: Barbara.V.Howard@Medstar.net.
7
Department of Medicine, Stanford Prevention Research Center, Stanford University School of Medicine, Medical School Office Building, 1265 Welch Road, Mail Code 5411, Stanford, CA 94305, United States. Electronic address: stefanick@stanford.edu.
8
Canyon Ranch Center for Prevention and Health Promotion, Mel & Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, Division of Health Promotion Sciences, University of Arizona, 3950S. Country Club, Suite 330, Tucson, AZ 85714, United States. Electronic address: cthomson@email.arizona.edu.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Positive associations between dog ownership and physical activity in older adults have been previously reported.

PURPOSE:

The objective of this study was to examine cross-sectional associations between dog ownership and physical activity measures in a well-characterized, diverse sample of postmenopausal women.

METHODS:

Analyses included 36,984 dog owners (mean age: 61.5years), and 115,645 non-dog owners (mean age: 63.9years) enrolled in a clinical trial or the observational study of the Women's Health Initiative between 1993 and 1998. Logistic regression models were used to test for associations between dog ownership and physical activity, adjusted for potential confounders.

RESULTS:

Owning a dog was associated with a higher likelihood of walking ≥150min/wk (Odds Ratio, 1.14; 95% Confidence Interval, 1.10-1.17) and a lower likelihood of being sedentary ≥8h/day (Odds Ratio, 0.86; 95% Confidence Interval, 0.83-0.89) as compared to not owning a dog. However, dog owners were less likely to meet ≥7.5MET-h/wk of total physical activity as compared to non-dog owners (Odds Ratio, 1.03; 95% Confidence Interval, 1.00-1.07).

CONCLUSIONS:

Dog ownership is associated with increased physical activity in older women, particularly among women living alone. Health promotion efforts aimed at older adults should highlight the benefits of regular dog walking for both dog owners and non-dog owners.

KEYWORDS:

Dog walking; Health promotion; Older adults; Physical activity; Sedentary lifestyle

PMID:
25449694
PMCID:
PMC4274243
DOI:
10.1016/j.ypmed.2014.10.030
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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