Dogs, Physical Activity, and Walking (Dogs PAW): Paseando con mi perro

Health Promot Pract. 2014 Oct 6. pii: 1524839914553300. [Epub ahead of print]

Dogs, Physical Activity, and Walking (Dogs PAW): Acceptability and Feasibility of a Pilot Physical Activity Intervention.

PMID: 25288560


Background. The aims of this study were to describe the development of and investigate the feasibility and acceptability of a pilot randomized controlled physical activity intervention based on social cognitive theory that used a dog walking strategy. Method. Participants (n = 49) were randomized into an intervention or control group. Overall, participants were middle-aged (M = 45.7 ± 13.4 years), Caucasian, and on average considered obese with a mean body mass index of 30.0 ± 5.5. Descriptive statistics were used to summarize participant characteristics and analyze the feasibility and acceptability data. Regression models were used to (a) examine significant differences between intervention and control groups across time (baseline to post-intervention) and (b) examine if changes in theoretical constructs from baseline to post-intervention resulted in changes in dog walking in both the intervention and control group. Results. Participants agreed that the intervention e-mails were easy to read and understand (M = 4.3 ± 0.7). Participants reported that the frequency of e-mails was adequate (M = 4.3 ± 0.8), but there was lower agreement that the e-mails encouraged an increase in dog walking (M = 3.6 ± 1.2). Post-intervention, the control group increased weekly dog walking to 19.4 ± 4.9 minutes, whereas the intervention group increased it to 79.3 ± 11.2 minutes. Conclusions. Preliminary results suggest that this pilot intervention is an acceptable and feasible strategy for promoting dog walking among dog owners.

© 2014 Society for Public Health Education.