It’s official! A recent study has revealed what aquarium fans already suspected— watching fish swim is good for your health. Doctors, dentists, and other medical professionals often install fish tanks in their offices as a means of occupying active children and calming stressed-out adult patients as well. Now they have definitive scientific findings to back up their decor choice.
Finding Measurable Health Benefits
The study, which took place in the United Kingdom, was the first to be conducted with the goal of discovering whether or not fish tanks really have a measurable effect on human health. Specifically, the study was looking for changes in stress levels, as indicated by the subjects’ increase or decrease in blood pressure and heart rate.
Conducting the Research
To conduct the study, researchers needed the right environment. An ideal opportunity opened up when the National Marine Aquarium decided to improve one of its exhibits, a massive 45-foot tank. Gradually, the National Marine Aquarium introduced new species of fish into the exhibit, slowly increasing the population within the tank.
While this population enhancement was going on, researchers monitored 112 study participants and their reactions to the exhibit. The more fish appeared in the aquarium and the longer the study continued, the more relaxed and calm the participants became. Blood pressure levels decreased, heart rate slowed, and mood improved as a direct result of the routine exposure to the aquarium exhibit and its underwater wildlife.
Researchers found that even viewing an empty tank of water with rocks in it lowered the participants’ heart rates by 3%. When some fish were brought into the tank, viewing the aquarium reduced heart rates by 7% and lowered blood pressure by 4%.
Including Aquariums in the City and the Workplace
The scientists involved in the study are suggesting a broader use of aquariums, particularly in densely populated urban areas or high-pressure businesses. Trapped in their busy schedule, people move in and out of their offices, homes, cars, and shopping centers, and they may go for days without being able to experience the rejuvenating and refreshing effects of nature. Urban office settings can often place extra pressure on people, causing them to suffer from stress in various ways. The blood pressure may be high, the heart may beat faster than normal for long periods of time, and the individual’s overall mood may be irritable and anxious. If left untreated, these stress symptoms can lead to other serious health issues.
To alleviate these symptoms of anxiety and stress, researchers suggest implementing elements of nature in the workplace. An aquarium is a fairly simple way to do this, and the people in the environment will start to notice a change right away. Just a glimpse of the fish gliding through the water can start the calming process. If people take time to pause and watch the fish for a while, the benefits increase as well.
Using Aquarium Centers for Stress Relief
Aquariums such as the National Marine Aquarium and similar establishments in the United States often serve as entertainment or as educational facilities, hosting groups of school children and families. However, businesses could also consider sending groups of employees to an aquarium for the morning or for the afternoon, with the goal of helping the workers relax, lower their stress levels, and improve their mood.
Profiting from an In-Office Fish Tank
The initial investment in an office aquarium may seem prohibitive, but it pays for itself in other ways. People with lower blood pressure and a positive mood are less likely to need additional sick days and mental health days, and they may also be less likely to develop serious illnesses that could take them away from work. Their overall job satisfaction and productivity increases, and that means more profit for the business.
The study indicated that the more fish are in the tank, the longer people want to stand and watch them. However, there’s no need to invest in dozens of expensive fish in order to reap these health benefits. Even simple freshwater tanks can do the trick. If you’re thinking about installing a fish tank in your home, office, retail space, or other building, contact us today at CustomAquarium.com. We’ll design a beautiful aquarium that fits your space, your needs, and your budget.
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