Exploring the impact of running with a dog on wellbeing

McVey, E. (2019) Exploring the impact of running with a dog on wellbeing. Masters theses, University of Chichester.

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A sample of seven participants who regularly run with their dog in an outdoor natural environment carried out runs under two conditions of being with and without the dog on the same route. A naturalistic mixed method of inquiry involving quantitative measurements of exercise intensity, mood, valence and activation together with qualitative semi-structured interviews was used to investigate whether running with the dog contributed significantly to physical activity intensity rates, affective responses, mood and wellbeing compared to being without the dog.
Results: No significant differences were found for physical intensity rates in either condition. The differences in POMS mood score of Vigour before and after the runs was increased for both conditions and was significantly higher with the dog. Valence and activation as measured by Feeling Scale (FS) and Felt Arousal Scale (FA) respectively were plotted as circumplex graphs displaying individual variability. Valence was significantly higher when running with the dog for the duration of the run from start, middle, to end. Valence was also significantly higher without the dog from the start to the middle but not from the middle to the end when increase was lower and not significant.
Thematic content analysis revealed 5 key themes – work life balance, pet companionship, the great outdoors, accommodating dog behaviour, endurance training without the dog.
Conclusion: Running with the dog significantly increases mood and valence and contributes to wellbeing when considering identified themes. Motivation is provided by the purposeful activity of exercising the dog and owner together in a natural outdoor environment.

Publication Type: Theses (Masters)
Additional Information: MSc in Sport and Exercise Psychology (BPS)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure > GV557 Sports
Divisions: Academic Areas > Institute of Sport > Area > Exercise Physiology
Student Research > Masters
Depositing User: Ann Jones
Date Deposited: 18 Nov 2020 13:03
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2020 13:03
URI: https://eprints.chi.ac.uk/id/eprint/5473

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