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Solution for parents stressed by school holiday cabin fever


Scientists discover the answer for parents stressed by school holiday cabin fever

Have your kids been driving your blood pressure through the roof these school holidays? Recent research suggests that, in addition to providing a welcome distraction for the kids, aquariums have the power to reduce stress, according to scientists at England’s National Marine Aquarium, Plymouth University and the University of Exeter.

Kelly Tarlton’s Sea Life Aquarium Curator, Andrew Christie, says the research comes as no surprise.

“I think our aquarium definitely has a relaxing effect on visitors. It’s been a long-time Auckland favourite for families wanting to get out of the house, do something fun and chill out a bit.”

The team of British scientists conducted their research by monitoring the physiological effects on people as one of the National Marine Aquarium’s largest exhibits was slowly restocked with new fish.

As more fish were introduced to the tank, onlookers’ heart rates and blood pressure dropped measurably. The chilled out aquarium-goers reported their moods improving following looking at the exhibit.

In the research announcement, Dr Sabine Pahl, Associate Professor in Psychology at Plymouth University, said: "While large public aquariums typically focus on their educational mission, our study suggests they could offer a number of previously undiscovered benefits. In times of higher work stress and crowded urban living, perhaps aquariums can step in and provide an oasis of calm and relaxation."

Christie agrees, saying, “While we definitely see Kelly Tarlton’s fulfilling a critical public education role, we also know that we provide an oasis for people to slow down for a bit and simply be in awe of nature—and that’s a public service that we’re proud to provide.”

ENDS

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