Either for company or as a motivation to get out of the house every day, even in winter, dogs are a great resource to help the elderly, and people of all ages, as they help to prevent a sedentary lifestyle – says Professor Daniela Lucini, Head Department of Exercise Medicine and Functional Pathologies at Humanitas. – Leaving home at least once a day for the well-being of your dog even on rainy or cold days, has obvious consequences on the psycho-physical well-being as it encourages people to have a regular and daily physical activity.
Therefore, having a dog helps them to both find the motivation to get moving, and keep them regularly active, defining a daily routine that ensures they practice mild-moderate intensity of physical activity, which is particularly useful for old people. In fact, while taking the dog for a walk, the elderly get physical benefits, because it contributes to the control of symptoms of chronic diseases typical of their age, with obvious consequences also on the psychological and social well-being that, which is particularly important in cases when they are isolated or marginalized. This has also been proven by a study published in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health: analyzing the amount of physical activity practiced by three thousand people around the age of 70, the results showed that owning a dog made them 20% more active. Translated in terms of time, old people with a dog would knock down at least 30 minutes of sedentary lifestyle every day, including rainy or cold days, when other people who don’t own a dog would stay at home.