It’s no secret that owning a pet has measurable benefits for your health but these benefits are typically associated with traditional pets like dogs and cats. There’s a reason why doctor’s offices and health clinics all over the world have fish tanks in them. Your home aquarium could be just as beneficial for your health as the family dog. The Market’s Fish Doctor, Joe Fernandez from Joe’s Fish tells you here what you need to know:
There’s just something peaceful about looking at a thriving home aquarium that calms you and those around you. This is part of the reason you’ll find fish tanks in high-stress environments like offices and hospitals. “We have customers just come and stare into our fish tanks, they become mesmerised,” Joe said. Managing your stress level is very important for your overall health and wellbeing. Not only can spending time around your tank help calm you down but having a routine you follow in taking care of it can be beneficial as well.
Do you spend half the night tossing and turning? A good night’s sleep is the key to long-term health. Sleep is how your body recharges and repairs itself – it also gives your brain time to consolidate memory and build new connections. For many people, sleep doesn’t come easy. “Watching your fish tank before bed can help calm your body and your mind enough to fall asleep,” Joe said. If your fish tank is in the room you sleep in, it may also provide some white noise to help you fall asleep.
When you feel less stress and get more sleep, your body will feel and function better. More than that, having a fish tank can actually improve your heart health. Looking at a fish tank can slow your heart rate and lower your blood pressure. According to one study, a tank full of fish yielded a 7% reduction*. “If you struggle with high blood pressure or other heart health issues, having a fish tank in your home could help you,” Joe said.
Watching a fish tank is almost hypnotic. Not only does your heart rate slow down and your blood pressure normalise but you may find your stress and worry slipping away as well. The presence of an aquarium has been shown to reduce anxiety and pain in dental patients*. “Customers who come to the Market often just stop and stare into our fish tanks for ages,” Joe said. “It’s mesmerising and calming”. According to a scientific report, having an aquarium in the waiting room decreased pain felt during dental procedures as well as the amount of pain medication needed afterwards*.
A fish tank can calm both your body and your mind, freeing you from stress and anxiety. Having a fish tank in your workspace could actually improve your focus and boost creativity, helping maximise productivity. The visual stimulation of an active fish tank may have therapeutic effects as well, giving your mind something else to focus on for a few minutes while you work through an issue. “I’m calm every day at the Market because I get to watch my fish all day long,” Joe said.
Though fish tanks provide visual stimulation that might boost focus and creativity, they can also have a very calming effect. In one study, a fish tank at home with children with hyperactivity disorders improved mood, alertness, and appetite while reducing aggressive behaviour. “Children who struggle with behavioural issues may find a fish tank calming.” Joe said. I see children who might be upset or crying really settle when they come past my shop.”
The health benefits of aquariums extend beyond the simple fish tank at home. Studies show that spending time in public aquariums can improve both physical and mental wellbeing as well. “Or you can come and visit me in my shop at the Market,” Joe said.