It has been discovered that fish tanks help to lower blood pressure and heart rate according to a study produced by the National Marine Aquarium, Plymouth University and the University of Exeter assessed people’s physical and mental responses to tanks containing various levels of fish.
The study showed that: “Watching the exhibit, irrespective of condition, generally decreased blood pressure but the role of stocking level was unclear.”
After viewing an empty tank with just a few rocks participants still had a lowered heart rate by three percent and after fish were introduced into the tank this fell by seven percent. In watching the fish, blood pressure was also reduced by four percent. Participants felt more positive and more relaxed the longer they spent watching the aquarium.
Authors of the study concluded that: “There are psychological and physiological benefits of watching aquaria. The evidence that greater levels of stocking had positive effects on experience evaluations and mood extends findings from terrestrial studies that suggest dose–response relationships between biota levels and immediate psychological well-being.
“Just as research on plant array preferences may improve the design of green spaces for well-being, a greater understanding of aquarium biota and exhibit composition may maximize the restorative potential of aquaria in healthcare environments and other stressful settings such as the workplace.
“Finally, the findings further highlight that restorative effects can be derived from artificial, as well as ‘real’ nature experiences. Opportunities for engaging with nature, even in ‘managed’ settings, may be key in helping urban populations connect with natural environments.”