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      Pet Attachment and Wellbeing of Older-Aged Recreational Horseback Riders

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          Abstract

          The aim of the study was to determine if and how emotional attachment to their animal of older-aged (45+) horseback riders affects their physical, psychological and social wellbeing in comparison to dog owners. Overall, 124 individuals 45+ years answered questionnaires about pet attachment and wellbeing. Comparisons were carried out using a general linear model with activity group (rider/dog owner) as the main variable of interest. Horseback riders had no significantly lower pet attachment scores compared to dog owners. Gender differences of pet attachment were found in riders, with women having higher love factor scores. Self-reported mood during activities with the animal was significantly correlated with overall pet attachment, pet love and personal growth by contact with the pet in both, riders and dog owners. We observed no correlation of physical wellbeing during and after the activity with the animal and overall pet attachment in dog owners and horseback riders. Psychological wellbeing during the activity was significantly correlated with overall pet attachment in riders and social wellbeing during the activity in both groups. Recreational horseback riders nearly reach pet attachment scores of dog owners, increasing social and psychological wellbeing in a manner similar to that in dog owners.

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          Most cited references 48

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          World Medical Association Declaration of Helsinki. Ethical principles for medical research involving human subjects.

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            The Construction of a New Type of Attitude Measure

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              Physical activity in older age: perspectives for healthy ageing and frailty

              Regular physical activity helps to improve physical and mental functions as well as reverse some effects of chronic disease to keep older people mobile and independent. Despite the highly publicised benefits of physical activity, the overwhelming majority of older people in the United Kingdom do not meet the minimum physical activity levels needed to maintain health. The sedentary lifestyles that predominate in older age results in premature onset of ill health, disease and frailty. Local authorities have a responsibility to promote physical activity amongst older people, but knowing how to stimulate regular activity at the population-level is challenging. The physiological rationale for physical activity, risks of adverse events, societal and psychological factors are discussed with a view to inform public health initiatives for the relatively healthy older person as well as those with physical frailty. The evidence shows that regular physical activity is safe for healthy and for frail older people and the risks of developing major cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, obesity, falls, cognitive impairments, osteoporosis and muscular weakness are decreased by regularly completing activities ranging from low intensity walking through to more vigorous sports and resistance exercises. Yet, participation in physical activities remains low amongst older adults, particularly those living in less affluent areas. Older people may be encouraged to increase their activities if influenced by clinicians, family or friends, keeping costs low and enjoyment high, facilitating group-based activities and raising self-efficacy for exercise.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Int J Environ Res Public Health
                Int J Environ Res Public Health
                ijerph
                International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
                MDPI
                1661-7827
                1660-4601
                13 March 2020
                March 2020
                : 17
                : 6
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Center for Public Health, Medical University Vienna, Kinderspitalgasse 15/1, 1090 Vienna, Austria; manfred.maier@ 123456meduniwien.ac.at (M.M.); michael.kundi@ 123456meduniwien.ac.at (M.K.)
                [2 ]Health Sciences, University of Applied Sciences FH Campus Wien, Favoritenstrasse 226, 1100 Vienna, Austria
                Author notes
                Article
                ijerph-17-01865
                10.3390/ijerph17061865
                7143422
                32183083
                © 2020 by the authors.

                Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

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