FOUR LEGS BETTER THAN TWOFOR FIGHTING THE FLAB

2nd November 2009 - When it comes to getting in shape, your four legged friend may hold the answer to improving your fitness. A unique European study into the walking regimes of dogs and their owners by Nintendo DS game Walk with me! Do you know your walking routine? and The Kennel Club has revealed that dog owners walk 9.27km a day– nearly twice as far as non-dog owners.

The study of 100 dogs and their owners was carried out using the Walk with me! Do you know your walking routine? Nintendo DS game; a lifestyle software which helps you and your family get in tune with your personal walking regime by monitoring your steps taken throughout the day. During the study both animals and humans wore specially designed Activity Meters recording their walking regimes, minute by minute, 24 hours a day.

It showed that whilst the average daily distance walked by non-dog owners is 4.7km<1>, Europe’s 50 million dog owners walk on average 9.27km<2> a day burning a combined count of 10.65 billion calories<3>. Respected health advice is we should all walk close to 10,000 steps (8km) a day as part of a healthy and balanced lifestyle<4>.

Result highlights include:

• Dog owners walk over 1,680km<5> more than non-dog owners in a year (equivalent to walking from Dublin to Vienna)

• The average dog takes over 81,000 steps in a week - around 14,000 more than its owner (or nearly 700,000 steps a year)

• The study showed owners take their furry friends on two walks a day, lasting for around 20 minutes

• The most active dog in the study was the Papillon which took nearly 200,000 steps in a week

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Communications Director, said:“The study has shown that dog owners are generally much fitter than those who don’t own dogs. As the credit crunch bites and more people ditch their expensive gym memberships it can be hard to get the exercise that you need, but it seems that dog owners have a readymade solution– exercising with their dog is fun, affordable and it is easy to get motivated with the eager eyes and wagging tail of your dog egging you on.”

Caroline continues:“This is great news for dogs, who without this kind of regular exercise can suffer from serious health problems, as can the human population. The Kennel Club’s Fight the Flab with Fido campaign aims to get dog and owner fit together and there are lots of different sports that they can enjoy from simple walking to agility.”

Laurent Fischer, Managing Director Marketing&PR Nintendo of Europe said:“Not only is this a great way of keeping fit, it is also a fun way to monitor your dogs’ rhythm and activity levels through the day. When you are out and your dog is at home, you can find out what they get up to in the day from having a sleep to when the postman drops off the letters. Walk with me! Do you know your walking routine? is a unique and convenient tool to measure their activity and bring you closer to your dog when you are away.”

Top 10 most active dogs (by step):

Rank Breed of dog Country Steps per week

1 Papillon Germany 199,393

2 Cocker Spaniel England 173,511

3 Lagotto Romagnolo Belgium 162,678

4 Miniature Pinscher England 160,348

5 Beagle England 155,430

6 Kooikerhondje The Netherlands 148,162

7 Yorkshire Terrier Spain 139,225

8 Golden Retriever France 120,302

9 Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Spain 114,415

10 Alaskan Malamute Wales 109,102

Top 10 most active countries (by step):

Rank Country

    <*>England <*>Germany <*>The Netherlands <*>France <*>Belgium <*>Spain <*>Scotland <*>Northern Ireland <*>Scotland <*>Wales

- Ends -

Notes to Editors:

For further information about Nintendo DS Walk with me! Do you know your walking routine?

Please contact the Nintendo Press Office on:

Email: Nintendopressoffice@redconsultancy.com

Tel: 0845 259 1325

For further information about The Kennel Club please contact The Kennel Club Press Office on +44 20 7518 1008 or Press.office@thekennelclub.org.uk

The Survey

• The survey was conducted in association with the Kennel Club, the national governing body for dogs and dog owners, across Europe from 4th August to 18th August 2009

• The Kennel Club issued 100 Nintendo DS Walk with me! Do you know your walking routine? games and Nintendo DS units to 100 dog owners across Europe to monitor their walking routine with their dog over a period of seven days

• Each owner and dog wore specially designed Activity Meters recording their walking regimes, minute-by-minute, 24 hours a day

• The monitored walks were uploaded on to the Nintendo DS Walk with me! Do you know your walking routine? game card and analysed, comparing walking distances of owner and dog

• These results were then shared with Nintendo of Europe and the Kennel Club

About Walk with me! Do you know your walking routine?

Walk with me! Do you know your walking routine?

Users can set daily walking targets for themselves with a basic setting of 3,000 steps which can be increased each day to suit their activity levels. A red or green light on the Activity Meter will light up to show whether users have reached their target or not.

As well as showing whether they have reached their goal, players will be given helpful, supportive tips throughout the day to help them get the most out of their day and achieve their goal. They can even connect via Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection and compare data with other Walk with me! Do you know your walking routine? owners around the world to share the fun.

Walk with me! Do you know your walking routine? also offers a variety of fun mini-games for users to motivate their walks. Monitored steps can unlock world trivia, show how much electrical energy would have been generated and even plot a journey through space.

Helpful tips on dog walking (from the Kennel Club)

Why dog walking?

Every dog owner has a duty of care to make sure that their dog gets at least one walk every day. However, most of us could spend a lot more time enjoying the great outdoors with our four legged friends, who make the perfect walking companions. Unlike most activities dog walking is something that the whole family can enjoy and better still, it doesn’t cost anything at all!

Who is it suitable for?

All dogs and dog owners can and should get walking. The government recommends that we get at least 30 minutes of exercise each day and this is something that everybody can achieve, and go beyond, on a daily dog walk.

How good is it for me and my dog?

Although dog walking is not a high intensity work out it is great for cardiovascular development, strengthening of muscles and bones and lowering blood pressure. And there are many social benefits as well because people who go walking with their dogs are often believed to be friendly and approachable by others.

What other, more high intensity activities, can dog owners get involved in?

There are a range of activities depending on your interests, from Canine Cross Country (running with your dog on a bungee lead) through to agility, which is the largest growing dog sport in the UK. To find out more about agility and other canine sports visit www.thekennelclub.org.uk/fighttheflabwithfido

About Nintendo:

The worldwide pioneer in the creation of interactive entertainment, Nintendo Co., Ltd., of Kyoto, Japan, manufactures and markets hardware and software for its Wii™, Nintendo DS™ and Nintendo DSi™ systems. Since 1983, when it launched the Nintendo Entertainment System™, Nintendo has sold more than 3.1 billion video games and more than 526 million hardware units globally, including the current-generation Wii, Nintendo DS and Nintendo DSi, as well as the Game Boy™, Game Boy Advance, Super NES™, Nintendo 64™ and Nintendo GameCube™. It has also created industry icons that have become well-known, household names such as Mario™, Donkey Kong™, Metroid™, Zelda™ and Pokémon™. A wholly owned subsidiary, Nintendo of Europe, based in Grossostheim, Germany, was established in 1990 and serves as headquarters for Nintendo's operations in Europe.

About The Kennel Club:

The Kennel Club is the UK’s largest organisation dedicated to the health and welfare of dogs. The Kennel Club of today holds within it the broadest remit to protect and promote the general wellbeing of dogs. At its heart are programmes and investments in education and health initiatives to help dog owners across the UK to have healthy, happy dogs, living long lives with responsible owners.


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