A study carried out in a Canadian university found a significant improvement in the physical activity of dog owners during the health crisis linked to the new coronavirus. The next step will be to follow the evolution of the weight of the canines and their owners.
A team of researchers at McGill University , located in Montreal , Canada, launched a national online health and wellness program last July. Entitled “ Family Fitness Mission ”, it took place over 6 weeks, during which more than 200 adults registered.
The latter were the subject of daily monitoring of their activities during the Covid-19 pandemic . They also benefited from social support and health coaching provided on a voluntary basis by medical students.
The study allowed them to compare the levels of daily physical activity among dog owners and people who are not accompanied by canines. In total, 29 participants with at least one dog and 68 others who did not, were followed.
The authors of this work first found that canine owners recorded 9 more days of activity over the period than participants without a dog.
Even more edifying, people with dogs walked the equivalent of 122 km during the duration of the program, for an average of 3 km per day .
The study therefore shows that dogs help their owners to preserve or even improve their physical form , and therefore their well-being and their health, in delicate periods as is the case with the current health crisis linked to the new coronavirus. .
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Now, the researchers will follow the evolution of the weight of the dogs and their owners over a period of 6 months. Previous studies have, in fact, noted a tendency to gain weight during the pandemic in most countries. Several causes are mentioned to explain this trend: less physical activity , social isolation and poor eating habits in particular.