4 years ago

Physical activity, dog ownership and falls among older adults: a breed apart

We read with great interest Wu et al’s article ‘Dog ownership supports the maintenance of physical activity during poor weather in older English adults: cross-sectional results from the EPIC Norfolk cohort’, highlighting the relationship between dog walkers and increased physical activity.1 Clearly, there are myriad positive implications of increased physical activity among older adults; however, as the authors rightly conclude, their findings ‘suggest that dog walking, where appropriate, can be a component of interventions to support physical activity in older adults’ (emphasis ours). The details surrounding the relative appropriateness of a circumstance in which greater physical activity can be fostered in older adults via dog ownership, however, are not immediately apparent. Unfortunately, there are a number of negative outcomes associated with dog walking and ownership, particularly with respect to falls, which are a leading cause of injury among older adults. A special report from the Centres for...

Publisher URL: http://jech.bmj.com/cgi/content/short/71/11/1130

DOI: 10.1136/jech-2017-209841

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