Students at the University of East Anglia in Norwich are to have dog walking made available to them to help relieve the stresses of study and exams.

To improve student well-being through physical activity £12,000 of funding has been allocated to pet therapy that will include taking dogs for walks at Cromer beach and Thetford Forest. The dogs are to be loaned by members of the public and some of the UEA’s academics.

Sport England, a taxpayer funded body, is providing the money for the scheme.

Professor Andy Jones of the Norwich Medical School researched the subject and found that dog walking has mental health and social benefits as well as helping individuals to maintain physical activity levels.

The director of Sport and Commercial Services at the university, Phil Steele, said: “Many students live away from their family pets, so having contact with animals can be stress relieving for them.”

The university provides other welfare initiatives, including talking therapies, exercise schemes, well-being advice sessions and workshops.

This is an important scheme because student suicide rates in the UK are increasing alarmingly.

Source: Daily Telegraph 12/01/19

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