Pets help with exercise

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A new poll has shown that pets of all kinds help older adults cope with health issues, stay physically active, and connect with others.

In the poll, 55% of adults ages 50 to 80 said they have a pet—and more than half of those have more than one. More than three-quarters of pet owners said their animals reduce stress, and nearly as many said pets give them a sense of purpose.

Two-thirds of all pet owners, and 78% of dog owners, said their pet helps them stay physically active, according to the new findings from the National Poll on Healthy Aging, which the University of Michigan Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation conducted.

For those who reported fair or poor health, pet ownership appeared to offer even more benefits. More than 70 percent of these older adults said their pet helps them cope with physical or emotional symptoms, and 46 percent said their pets help take their mind off of pain.

So the evidence is clear – pets are a common and naturally occurring source of support and will make you more active and healthy whilst also offering significant social connections which are also key to quality of life across the lifespan.


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