Florida State University reports on a new program designed to discover whether exercising with a dog yields a more positive outcome than exercising without one…
by KATHLEEN HAUGHNEY
Lola, Stryker and Bogey aren’t your regular gym rats.
In fact, they’re dogs.
But three times a week, they’re breaking a sweat with Florida State University doctoral students Ashley Artese and Brandon Grubbs, and residents of the Westminster Oaks Retirement Community.
Artese and Grubbs designed the exercise program under the direction of Associate Professor of Exercise Science Lynn Panton and Associate Professor of Nursing Karla Schmitt as part of a study to look at whether exercising with dogs can lead to better health outcomes.
“Between each exercise, we try to leave a little bit of time so people can pet the dogs and talk to the handlers,” said Artese, a first-year doctoral student in exercise science.
Volunteers for the study at Westminster Oaks were split into two groups of seven. One exercises with dogs trained by Tallahassee Memorial Hospital’s pet therapy program. The other group exercises without them.
Asked Schmitt: “Is it the contact with the animal that is the value? Or, the working and contact with the group?”