We are pleased to announce that Jack Atherton has lately been the subject of a lecture given by Dr Erika Borkoles:
‘Dogs are a great source of social influence. Several scientific studies have shown that dog ownership significantly influences social, mental, and physical health of individuals. Those who own a dog are more likely to be meeting the recommended weekly physical activity guidelines and maintain their good physical and mental health. Social health, especially in later life can often decrease, but companionship of a dog opens many opportunities for social interaction with strangers through regular walks. Having a dog is a powerful incentive to remain physically healthy, as they pressure their owners to go with them for walks. The dog needs to be out regardless whether it is raining, hot, or cold, which often gets owners out in green spaces, even though they might not have chosen to go by themselves. Therefore, they are powerful social influence on their owners’ health behaviours.
Level 5 students in the Faculty of Management, Department of Sport & Physical activity were taught about this important relationship between dogs and their owners during the ‘Social Influences on Exercise’ lecture within the Psychology of Exercise Unit. Dr Erika Borkoles taught her students to appreciate what dogs like Jack Atherton and his owner Carolyn Atherton do for BU students. Managing mental health by enabling BU students to access learning with an Assisted Learning dog’s support is one of the key aspects of the Additional Learning Support Service.’