Fish tanks offer health benefits

If your staff and/or clients seem stressed out, consider adding a fish tank to your lobby or break room. It just might calm them, a new study suggests.

The study, published on July 27 in Environment and Behavior and conducted at the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth, UK, showed there are both psychological and physiological benefits to observing a fish tank.

The study took place as the National Marine Aquarium refurbished and restocked its 550,000-liter aquarium. Study participants observed the restocking in three stages—unstocked, minimally stocked, and completely stocked.

Part A of the study documented the amount of time visitors lingered in each stage. Part B monitored a group of university students’ moods, heart rates, and blood pressure before and after watching the aquarium at each stage.

Not surprisingly, Part A visitors lingered longer as the tank stock increased. In Part B, there were notable drops in blood pressure and heart rate, and the participants reported feeling more positive and relaxed.

The researchers concluded that being engaged with nature, even in managed settings, may offer well-being and health benefits. 

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