Background. The aims of this study were to describe the development of and investigate the feasibility and acceptability of a pilot randomized controlled physical activity intervention based on social cognitive theory which used a dog walking strategy.
Methods. Participants (n=49) were randomized into an intervention or control group. Overall, participants were middle-aged (mean=45.7±13.4 years), Caucasian, and on average considered obese with an average BMI of 30.0±5.5. Descriptive statistics were used to summarize participant characteristics and analyze the feasibility and acceptability data. Regression models were used to: 1) examine significant differences between intervention and control groups across time (baseline to post-intervention) and 2) examine if changes in theoretical constructs from baseline to post-intervention resulted in changes in dog walking in both the intervention and control group.
Results. Participants agreed that the intervention emails were easy to read and understand (mean=4.3±0.7). Participants reported that the frequency of emails was adequate (mean=4.3±0.8) but there was lower agreement that the emails encouraged an increase in dog walking (mean=3.6±1.2). Post-intervention, the control group increased weekly dog walking to 19.4±4.9 minutes while the intervention group increased to 79.3±11.2 minutes.
Conclusions. Preliminary results suggest this pilot intervention is an acceptable and feasible strategy for promoting dog walking among dog owners.
social cognitive theory, pets, exercise
Date of this Version
Richards, Elizabeth, "Dogs, Physical Activity, and Walking (Dogs PAW): Acceptability and Feasibility of a Pilot Physical Activity Intervention" (2015). School of Nursing Faculty Publications. Paper 25.