Limestone University Professor of Physical Education Dr. Felicia Cavallini recently had a research commentary publication accepted by the “Journal of Physical Activity Research.”
Cavallini and her team used their research, specifically people's preferences for lifestyle physical activity, as the background to promote and educate the benefits of dog walking. A “MyDogWalking Activity” graphic was also created.
“From our research, we've learned that most people prefer lifestyle physical activity over traditional exercises and that the affective motivator of feeling good and happier afterwards is vital to want to participate in physical activity,” Cavallini said. “Dog walking is a wonderful way to enjoy time with your dog while refreshing your mind and boosting health.”
In her research, Cavallini explained that specifically, dog walking can prevent a sedentary lifestyle and positively encourage the dog owner to engage in recreational physical activity while bonding with their pet. Dog walking is considered by Cavallini to be a simple way to break up the day with frequent recreational walks in bouts of 10 minutes or more, rather than a longer duration one time during the day.
Her research determined that dog walking can prevent a physically inactive lifestyle while building physical, psychological, and social health. The research expressed that time spent dog walking allows for relaxation and social interaction with other friends and neighbors in the community which contributes to strong mental health.
Cavallini was awarded the prestigious, internationally distinguished Fulbright U.S. Scholar Grant for 2014-2015 as a Visiting Research Chair in the Human Health and Nutritional Sciences Department at the University of Guelph. Following her time in Guelph, Cavallini and her research team created “MyActivity” graphics to represent their findings. The graphics reflected the data gained from 13 diverse focus groups held during Cavallini’s time in Canada. Along with the research, at least 15 of the “MyActivity” graphics have been published in peer-review national and international research journals.