Measurement of Dog Walking Behaviour: Strengths and Weaknesses of Various Methods

Holly Murray, Joan Wharf Higgins, Vivian Temple, Holly Tuokko, Michelle Porter, Ryan Rhodes


Background: Physical activity promotion has become important in public health initiatives due to its overwhelming evidence in disease prevention; however, low participation rates prevail. Research between dog ownership and walking is relatively new, with primary evidence from self-report surveys. Purpose: The primary purpose of this study was to compare different physical activity (PA) measures: self-report, pedometry,accelerometry, and global positioning system(GPS)and to investigateself-report vs. direct measures of dog walking behaviour.Methods: Participants completed self-report; wore a pedometer, accelerometer, and GPS unit for four days.Results: Results indicate self-report both over and underestimates direct measures of PA.Conclusion: It is recommended that investigations of PA patterns and practices use direct measures such as GPS combined with accelerometry.


Self report: accelerometry; pedometry; GPS; exercise

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ISSN: 19206216