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People say that aquariums are good for you, but is this claim logically sound? Heather Walford, a new contributor, looks into things.

If I told you that having an aquarium in your home or office can really help your health, would you believe me? You might be surprised to learn how good keeping fish is for your mind and body.

First of all, and any aquarist will tell you this, keeping fish gives you a mental workout because you have to think about math, physics, chemistry, and biology in order to keep your fish alive. And all of this is before you even decide what kind of fish you want.

Bringing the blood pressure down

Several studies have been done on the positive effects of fish tanks on our bodies and minds. One of the more recent ones was published in the journal Environment and Behaviour. It was a study done by experts from the National Marine Aquarium, Plymouth University, and the University of Exeter. Seeing fish swim in a big aquarium was the stimulus. The end result? It turns out that it can lower the blood pressure of a person.

In a way that is directly related to this, it was found that watching fish in aquariums also slows down a person’s heart rate. Imagine: watching an aquarium can help reduce two physical symptoms that are often caused by stress. Who would’ve guessed?

As an interesting part of the study, the researchers noticed that as the number of fish in the aquarium went up, people’s attention stayed focused longer and their moods got better, at least that’s what the people who took part in the study said. But I’m sure that many people who enjoy this hobby already know this. Staring into an aquarium is relaxing, and for a fishkeeper, there’s nothing better than coming home from a long day at work and getting lost in their own underwater world. After all, it’s well known that being near nature and hearing the sound of water can make you feel a lot less stressed.

Did you know, for instance, that people are naturally drawn to water? Aside from that, 60% of our bodies and a huge 90% of our blood are made of water, and it is hardwired into our DNA. Because of this, don’t be afraid to make your aquarium the focus of the room. Everyone knows that many dentist and doctor’s offices, especially in the US, have aquariums in their waiting rooms. Older studies from the 1980s have shown that putting aquariums in these waiting rooms makes patients less nervous and more at ease before surgery. With an aquarium in the room, a patient’s level of anxiety has been shown to drop by up to 12%.

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