A recent study of children from 78 inner city primary schools in England has found that children in homes with dogs were more active than those without, helping to lower the risk of childhood obesity.
Researchers from St George's, University of London found that children who came from families which owned a dog generally participated in more physical activities than those without.
However, researchers did say that they are unsure on whether this is a result of active families being more likely to own a dog, or if dog owning makes family life more active.
The study measured levels of activity, such as the level of physical activity and steps walked by more than 2,000 nine and 10 year old children.
The researchers concluded that both boys and girls from families who owned dog consistently had a higher level of physically activity than those who did not.
This increased level of activity could result in a significant difference in a child's health on a long term basis, possibly reducing their risk of obesity and diabetes in the future.
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