273346 Meeting PA Recommendations: Generalizability of Dog Walking Programs for Communities

Monday, October 29, 2012 : 2:30 PM - 2:50 PM

Rebecca Johnson, PhD, RN FAAN , Sinclair School of Nursing,Research Center for Human Animal Interaction, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO
Globally there is growing research investigating dog walking to enable people to meet physical activity (PA) recommendations. Epidemiological evidence suggests people who walk dogs are more likely to meet these recommendations. This paper explores factors facilitating and preventing dog walking among community residents. It will draw upon data from the rapidly expanding global evidence base on dog walking, and refer to findings from 3 of the presenter's studies.

A logic model and discussion of methodological issues of designing and implementing community dog walking programs will be presented. Practical issues associated with dog walking across the lifespan will be discussed (including safety, walking speed, balance, and PA).

Conclusions: Dog walking programs may be both beneficial and generalizable to address inactivity in communities. Such programs may unite a wide range of community resources around the critical issue of increasing PA.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Other professions or practice related to public health
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
Describe factors facilitating and preventing dog walking in communities. Analyze issues associated with implementing community dog walking research and programs.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: College professor on subject. My work in the area of the health benefits of human-companion animal interaction aims to facilitate well-being for humans and animals. Also, my gerontological research focuses on housing transitions and ways to promote healthy physical activity among older adults.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.