Sci-Tech

Have Dog as Your Pet and Feel 10 Years Younger, a study

July 25, 2014 09:25 AM

Want to feel 10 years younger? Own a dog! Pets not only keep you active they can also make you feel and act younger, a new study has found. Researchers at the University of St Andrews found that dog owners over the age of 65 act 10 years younger than their biological age.

The study , led by Dr Zhiqiang Feng also found that owning a dog can also have a beneficial effect on an elderly person's mental health.

“Our results suggest that dog ownership may motivate personal activity and enable older people to overcome many potential barriers such as lack of social support, inclement weather and concerns over personal safety,“ Feng said. rate.

Previous studies have looked at the positive benefits of pet ownership on the elderly , with dog owners being shown to have fewer symptoms of depression and decreases in blood pressure and heart rate.
However, this is the first study to look properly at levels of physical activity in the over 65 group.

Feng said, adding, “Our results show that dog ownership is associated with an increased level of physical activity in the over-65s. On average, older dog owners were 12% more active than their counterparts who did not own a dog.“

Feng monitored the activity of 547 elderly people in Tayside, Scotland, with an average age of 79. Of those who took part, 9% -around 50 people -were dog owners, and 75% of these walked their dogs.

“Our results suggest that dog ownership may motivate personal activity and enable older people to overcome many potential barriers such as lack of social support, inclement weather and concerns over personal safety,“ Feng said.

 

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