I wonder if, in fact, it is dogs! Dogs keep a lot of people active, or at least a bit more active than they might otherwise be. Dogs take people for walks (although we like to think it is the other way round.) In a nation struggling to cope with an obesity epidemic and related problems like diabetes, dogs do crucial work.
If your doctor tells you that you should get more exercise, you might nod and forget about it; people are notoriously good at ignoring the advice of health care professionals. You might see Mo Farrah hurtling towards the finish line, but a few minutes later you have forgotten about any temporary desire to emulate him in any way. But, if your dog thinks it’s time for walkies, you probably cannot resist his or her good natured enthusiasm. Imagine if dogs went on strike – it would be a healthcare disaster!