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postgraduate thesis: The health-related benefits of dog-ownership in Hong Kong

TitleThe health-related benefits of dog-ownership in Hong Kong
Authors
Advisors
Issue Date2012
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Abstract
Background: Numerous studies have found that there are many health-related benefits to owning a dog, however, this has not been investigated in a high dense Asian environment where the culture is very different to Western countries. Objectives: This study aimed at investigating 1) if dog-owners are more active than those who do not own a dog; 2) if dog-owners have higher perceived physical and mental health status compared to a sample of the population who do not own a dog; 3) are there social/environmental factors measured by the Dogs-and-Physical Activity (DAPA) tool that are associated with the perceived physical and mental health as well as physical activity (PA) habits of dog owners. Methods: A total of 102 Chinese dog-owners resident in Hong Kong were recruited to examine what factors might affect dog-owners to walk their dog regularly and hence likely to take part in more daily PA. All of these dog-owners were invited to complete a questionnaire that combined the DAPA-tool, Short-Form-12 health survey (SF-12), and the International-Physical-Activity-Questionnaire – short (IPAQ-short) and to wear an accelerometer for a week. Of the 102 recruited dog-owners, 52 had analysable SF-12 and accelerometry data that could be compared with similar data from 47 HK Chinese who did not own dogs. Linear regression was used to analyse differences between dog-owners and non-dog-owners and to examine social/environmental factors that contributed to physical component score (PCS) and mental component score (MCS) and accrued PA of the dog-owners; their living status, gender, age, Body Mass Index (BMI), income, education level and work status were adjusted during the analysis. Result: Compared to those without dogs, dog-owners were found to have higher PCS scores (P<0.001), involved in more moderate to vigorous PA (MVPA, P=0.02) and overall PA (OVPA, P<0.001) as measured by objective accelerometry; while no significant differences were seen in MCS, nor MVPA or OVPA as measured by the self-reported IPAQ. “Owning a dog adds to my happiness” was associated with having higher PCS (P=0.04); whilst “Trees and shrubs for dogs to sniff” (P=0.02), “Sitting areas with benches” (P=0.06) and “My enjoyment of being outdoors” (P=0.01) were positively related to MVPA as measured by IPAQ, whilst “My dog would be unfriendly or difficult to control” (P=0.02) was negatively related to IPAQ MVPA. Furthermore, “Signs to say if dogs are permitted” (P=0.03), “Trees and shrubs for dogs to sniff” (P=0.02), “The fact that I feel safe when walking with my dog” (P=0.02) and “It would keep my dog healthy” (P=0.04) were found to be positively related to OVPA as measure by IPAQ, whilst “My family commitments” (P=0.03) and “It would stop me feeling guilty” (P=0.03) were found to be negative related to IPAQ OVPA. No variables were significantly related to MCS among the dog-owners. Conclusion: Dog-ownership is associated with Hong Kong owners having a more active lifestyle and is related to higher perceived physical, but not mental health. A small number of social and physical factors appear important in providing a supportive environment that can help enhance the health benefits of dog-ownership.
DegreeMaster of Philosophy
SubjectDog owners - Health and hygiene - China - Hong Kong.
Dog owners - Mental health - China - Hong Kong.
Dog walking - Health aspects - China - Hong Kong.
Dept/ProgramHuman Performance

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.advisorMacfarlane, DJ-
dc.contributor.advisorCerin, E-
dc.contributor.authorChow, Lok-yan.-
dc.contributor.author周樂欣.-
dc.date.issued2012-
dc.description.abstractBackground: Numerous studies have found that there are many health-related benefits to owning a dog, however, this has not been investigated in a high dense Asian environment where the culture is very different to Western countries. Objectives: This study aimed at investigating 1) if dog-owners are more active than those who do not own a dog; 2) if dog-owners have higher perceived physical and mental health status compared to a sample of the population who do not own a dog; 3) are there social/environmental factors measured by the Dogs-and-Physical Activity (DAPA) tool that are associated with the perceived physical and mental health as well as physical activity (PA) habits of dog owners. Methods: A total of 102 Chinese dog-owners resident in Hong Kong were recruited to examine what factors might affect dog-owners to walk their dog regularly and hence likely to take part in more daily PA. All of these dog-owners were invited to complete a questionnaire that combined the DAPA-tool, Short-Form-12 health survey (SF-12), and the International-Physical-Activity-Questionnaire – short (IPAQ-short) and to wear an accelerometer for a week. Of the 102 recruited dog-owners, 52 had analysable SF-12 and accelerometry data that could be compared with similar data from 47 HK Chinese who did not own dogs. Linear regression was used to analyse differences between dog-owners and non-dog-owners and to examine social/environmental factors that contributed to physical component score (PCS) and mental component score (MCS) and accrued PA of the dog-owners; their living status, gender, age, Body Mass Index (BMI), income, education level and work status were adjusted during the analysis. Result: Compared to those without dogs, dog-owners were found to have higher PCS scores (P<0.001), involved in more moderate to vigorous PA (MVPA, P=0.02) and overall PA (OVPA, P<0.001) as measured by objective accelerometry; while no significant differences were seen in MCS, nor MVPA or OVPA as measured by the self-reported IPAQ. “Owning a dog adds to my happiness” was associated with having higher PCS (P=0.04); whilst “Trees and shrubs for dogs to sniff” (P=0.02), “Sitting areas with benches” (P=0.06) and “My enjoyment of being outdoors” (P=0.01) were positively related to MVPA as measured by IPAQ, whilst “My dog would be unfriendly or difficult to control” (P=0.02) was negatively related to IPAQ MVPA. Furthermore, “Signs to say if dogs are permitted” (P=0.03), “Trees and shrubs for dogs to sniff” (P=0.02), “The fact that I feel safe when walking with my dog” (P=0.02) and “It would keep my dog healthy” (P=0.04) were found to be positively related to OVPA as measure by IPAQ, whilst “My family commitments” (P=0.03) and “It would stop me feeling guilty” (P=0.03) were found to be negative related to IPAQ OVPA. No variables were significantly related to MCS among the dog-owners. Conclusion: Dog-ownership is associated with Hong Kong owners having a more active lifestyle and is related to higher perceived physical, but not mental health. A small number of social and physical factors appear important in providing a supportive environment that can help enhance the health benefits of dog-ownership.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.source.urihttp://hub.hku.hk/bib/B48330152-
dc.subject.lcshDog owners - Health and hygiene - China - Hong Kong.-
dc.subject.lcshDog owners - Mental health - China - Hong Kong.-
dc.subject.lcshDog walking - Health aspects - China - Hong Kong.-
dc.titleThe health-related benefits of dog-ownership in Hong Kong-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb4833015-
dc.description.thesisnameMaster of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelmaster's-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineHuman Performance-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.5353/th_b4833015-
dc.date.hkucongregation2012-

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