Small or large, long-haired or short-haired, purebred or crossbred: dogs provide an infinite source of joy for their owners. With the health benefits of pet ownership stacking up, a new study adds increased physical activity to the list. Their guidelines for adults aged 65 and older suggest that this group should engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity during a week, or at least 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity during this same time period. Doing regular physical activity such as walking can reduce certain health risks, including cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, certain cancers, and depression. Researchers from the latest study say that there is some evidence showing that dog ownership could improve physical activity among older adults, but previous studies have relied on self-reported data or incomplete datasets as a result of unreliable activity monitors. The team assessed participants' walking time, standing time, and sitting time, along with the duration and number of times they sat down. Results showed that the dog owners walked an average of 22 minutes more than the non-dog owners, and they also walked an extra 2,760 steps per day. Based on their results, the researchers suggest that health professionals could promote dog ownership or shared ownership as a way to encourage older adults to be more physically active. Furthermore, all participants were white and British, so this limits generalizing the findings to wider populations. "Ultimately, our research will provide insights into how pet ownership may help older people achieve higher levels of physical activity or maintain their physical activity levels for a longer period of time."
About 12 percent of retirees temporarily increase their alcohol consumption to unhealthy levels around the time they leave their full-time jobs, according to a Finnish study in Addiction in March 2017. Most risky drinkers are men, smokers, and people who have depressive symptoms.
Researchers surveyed nearly 6,000 people about their drinking habits before and after their retirement over an eight-year period. The increase in drinking peaked during retirement transition but declined to pre-retirement levels within four to eight years.