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Postgraduate Thesis: The health-related benefits of dog-ownership in Hong Kong
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TitleThe health-related benefits of dog-ownership in Hong Kong
 
AuthorsChow, Lok-yan.
周樂欣.
 
Issue Date2012
 
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
 
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.
 
AdvisorsMacfarlane, DJ
Cerin, E
 
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 FieldValue
dc.contributor.advisorMacfarlane, DJ
 
dc.contributor.advisorCerin, E
 
dc.contributor.authorChow, Lok-yan.
 
dc.contributor.author周樂欣.
 
dc.date.hkucongregation2012
 
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.description.naturepublished_or_final_version
 
dc.description.thesisdisciplineHuman Performance
 
dc.description.thesislevelmaster's
 
dc.description.thesisnameMaster of Philosophy
 
dc.identifier.hkulb4833015
 
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
 
<?xml encoding="utf-8" version="1.0"?>
<item><contributor.advisor>Macfarlane, DJ</contributor.advisor>
<contributor.advisor>Cerin, E</contributor.advisor>
<contributor.author>Chow, Lok-yan.</contributor.author>
<contributor.author>&#21608;&#27138;&#27427;.</contributor.author>
<date.issued>2012</date.issued>
<description.abstract>&#65279;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 &#8211; 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&lt;0.001), involved in more moderate to vigorous PA (MVPA, P=0.02) and overall PA (OVPA, P&lt;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. 

&#8220;Owning a dog adds to my happiness&#8221; was associated with having higher PCS (P=0.04); whilst &#8220;Trees and shrubs for dogs to sniff&#8221; (P=0.02), &#8220;Sitting areas with benches&#8221; (P=0.06) and &#8220;My enjoyment of being outdoors&#8221; (P=0.01) were positively related to MVPA as measured by IPAQ, whilst &#8220;My dog would be unfriendly or difficult to control&#8221; (P=0.02) was negatively related to IPAQ MVPA. Furthermore, &#8220;Signs to say if dogs are permitted&#8221; (P=0.03), &#8220;Trees and shrubs for dogs to sniff&#8221; (P=0.02), &#8220;The fact that I feel safe when walking with my dog&#8221; (P=0.02) and &#8220;It would keep my dog healthy&#8221; (P=0.04) were found to be positively related to OVPA as measure by IPAQ, whilst &#8220;My family commitments&#8221; (P=0.03) and &#8220;It would stop me feeling guilty&#8221; (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.</description.abstract>
<language>eng</language>
<publisher>The University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)</publisher>
<relation.ispartof>HKU Theses Online (HKUTO)</relation.ispartof>
<rights>The author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.</rights>
<rights>Creative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License</rights>
<source.uri>http://hub.hku.hk/bib/B48330152</source.uri>
<subject.lcsh>Dog owners - Health and hygiene - China - Hong Kong.</subject.lcsh>
<subject.lcsh>Dog owners - Mental health - China - Hong Kong.</subject.lcsh>
<subject.lcsh>Dog walking - Health aspects - China - Hong Kong.</subject.lcsh>
<title>The health-related benefits of dog-ownership in Hong Kong</title>
<type>PG_Thesis</type>
<identifier.hkul>b4833015</identifier.hkul>
<description.thesisname>Master of Philosophy</description.thesisname>
<description.thesislevel>master&apos;s</description.thesislevel>
<description.thesisdiscipline>Human Performance</description.thesisdiscipline>
<description.nature>published_or_final_version</description.nature>
<date.hkucongregation>2012</date.hkucongregation>
<bitstream.url>http://hub.hku.hk/bitstream/10722/173885/1/FullText.pdf</bitstream.url>
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