Walking Can Protect Dogs and Humans From Developing Dementia Two large studies provided data indicating that taking walks is the most effective way to prevent against cognitive decline in canines and humans.
By Main Street Sentinel Staff
Two large studies of humans and dogs have recently concluded that being physically active significantly reduces the risk of developing dementia with age.
According to the Dog Aging Project, like humans, dogs can develop dementia with age, Matt Kaeberlein, professor at University of Washington in Seattle explained to the Washington Post. Often this manifests with dogs staring blankly at walls, getting lost in their own homes, or retreating under sofas or into closets, unable to make their way out again.
The new study, which for the first time was able to look at a large cross-section of dogs and include data on breeds, age, sterilization, physical activity and more, showed that the two greatest correlated factors for cognitive dysfunction in dogs were age and physical activity, or the lack thereof.
These findings echo those of an international team of scientists based in Denmark, who studied data from almost 78, 500 middle-aged or older men and women. Researchers followed data from volunteers from the UK Biobank – a huge database of health data – and compared it with hospital records and diagnoses of dementia.
They found that people who average about 9,800 steps a day were half as likely to develop dementia as sedentary people. Moreover, if some of these paces were completed at a fast pace, the risk of cognitive decline dropped further.
Taking into account a 2019 study which indicated that dog owners are four times more likely to actively exercise, it really seems like dogs and humans are fated to be best friends.