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American Heart Association encourages people to incorporate pets into their workday

Human, pet interaction can lead to better health, says AHA
Posted at 11:59 AM, Jun 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-12 12:03:43-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Stacks of research by the American Heart Association show workplace stress can have detrimental effects, but being close to a pet can have benefits for your health.

Many pet lovers say having animals in the workplace can increase positivity and improve employee experience. A recent survey cited by AHA reports 37 percent of pet parents would sacrifice vacation time and better pay to work in a pet-friendly environment.

About 40 percent of American adults are obese. A million people will have a heart attack or die from coronary heart disease this year alone.

AHA said pets can benefit emotional, mental and physical well-being, extending lives, improving quality of living, and even help patients recovery from coronary events. AHA reports heart attack survivors living alone are 33 percent less likely to die if they own a dog.

Dr. Donna Arnett, Ph.D., is the past president of the American Heart Association and Dean of the University of Kentucky College of Public Health. She is also a dog owner.

“They help us manage anxiety, simply looking at your pet, petting him or her can reduce stress levels, reduce the stress hormones. So, that’s one way. Another way is they help us be more active as pet parents. They give us those forlorn looks like ‘can’t you take me for another walk?’” Arnett said.

The American Heart Association created a website called Healthy Bond For Life, which encourages people to bring a pet to the workplace to improve well being.