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Wednesday 7th December 2016
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Beat the blues by going walkies

9th November 2006

It might seem like a chore at this time of year, but new research has suggested walking the dog is good for its owner.

Daily walkies can help to ward off depression and loneliness, say psychology researchers from the University of Portsmouth.

Their study found dogs were motivating owners to take exercise, even when they didn’t want to. Walkers often also met fellow walkers which left them happier, while the exercise provided a sense of well-being.

There are 15 million dog owners in the UK, according to national figures.

In a separate study by conservation agency Natural England, walking, whether with a dog or without, can improve fitness and help prevent obesity, heart disease, diabetes and cancer.

It can also help to cut stress levels, speed up recovery from illness or surgery and help children with attention disorders.

Natural England has now launched an initiative to mobilise more than a million people to enjoy their local green spaces.

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