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Dog walkers feel fit and make neighbourhood feel safer, study finds

Friday October 14th 2016

Walking your dog keeps you healthy and helps neighbourhoods feel safer, a study finds.

International research by the University of Western Australia finds that as well as making the owner physically fit, dog walking also raises the feeling of security.

The research suggests that people who walked their dog achieved at least 30 minutes of physical activity on more days per week than non-dog walkers, helping them to meet the World Health Organisation recommendation of at least 150 minutes of physical activity per week.

The study looks at the relationship between dog walking, physical activity and people's perception of safety in their community.

More than 1000 dog owners from Perth, Australia and three US cities were surveyed.

The study also highlights the broader community benefits of pet ownership.

"Dog walkers were also more than three times more likely to walk in their neighbourhood, suggesting that dog walking helps you get to know your local area and neighbours," stated Dr Christian, according to a Hindustan Times report.

"This natural surveillance provides opportunities for people to interact, and monitor their neighbourhood and notice unusual behaviour, which can help deter local crime and make people feel safer." She added.

"Particularly in US study sites, dog walkers had a greater feeling of security and perceived higher levels of neighborhood surveillance from dog walking than those studied in Perth," said Dr Christian.

He believes this is due to social and cultural differences in dog-keeping and exercise practices between the two countries

This article was written on behalf of helpucover. helpucover is a trading style of Pinnacle Insurance plc, an insurance company who offers Pet Insurance.

Copyright Press Association 2016