How Pets Impact Physical Activity Within Youth

Date of Award

Summer 6-16-2024

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Coaching and Athletic Administration



First Advisor

Ryan Hubbard

Second Advisor

Patricia Myrvik


Animals and pets play an important role in many family households. In some cases, pet ownership is thought to improve physical activity in adults. There are many ways to increase exercise and live a healthy lifestyle. A family’s lifestyle influences the habits of their children. There has been limited research done on how pet ownership could affect physical activity in youth. With the rising rates of obesity and sedentary lifestyle in youth, the comparison of physical activity and pet ownership could be a lens researchers can look through. The objective of this thesis is to measure the number of steps taken daily and how it relates to pet ownership. The larger number of steps increases the levels of physical activity in a daily count. Ten student participants in the middle age range were chosen to participate in the study. Each student wore a pedometer to track steps taken and data was collected at the end of each day through a online survey format. Standard division and t scores were analyzed. Groups analyzed were student participants with pet ownership and student participants without pet ownership.

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