The Relaxing Aquarium
What evidence is there that shows that fish tanks are soothing for people? What are the benefits of owning an aquarium?
There is a growing trend in work places and doctors offices all over the place of displaying fish aquariums. They are kept not only because they're nice decorations, but also as a soothing element to relax people in stressful environments. Some believe that seeing fish swim about helps us to forget our worries and ease our minds.
How does it work?
There are some who claim that the serene setting in which the fish swim about reduces stress. By witnessing a whole other world where everything is fluid, slow motion we lose ourselves in tranquility. The colors are vibrant and uplifting, the gentle hum of the filter that gurgles out an almost inaudible bubbling also produces a soothing effect. You begin to live
vicariously through the fish that have no deadlines, appointments or obligations, they simply swim. You almost become hypnotized. It is basically an escape.
What evidence is there to support this?
There does not exist an empirical study confirming these theories. However, Purdue University researchers, for instance, found that the presence of an aquarium has relaxed Alzheimers patients and made them more alert. Another study showed that it calmed ADHD children and allowed them a more positive outlet for their roaming and erratic curiosities.
The fact of the matter remains that when you stare off into a fish tank, you can't help but be relaxed and soothed. The evidence lies in that alone.