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Posts Tagged ‘Aquariums’

Do you ever wonder why many doctors and dentists’ offices have an aquarium in their waiting areas? No, it’s not because doctors and dentists all happen to be hobbyists; it’s because there’s some evidence that aquariums have a calming effect and improve moods. Calm patients make easier patients, especially for a dentist! Aquariums have many potential health benefits including:

  • Improves mood
  • Reduces pain
  • Improves nutritional intake and body weight
  • Improves loneliness
  • Improves anxiety, relaxation and stress

One study found that increasing the amount and variety of fish in an aquarium was associated with greater reductions in heart rate, greater increases in self-reported mood, and higher interest. 

Aquariums can be expensive though depending on the type. They range from the inexpensive such as a simple bowl with goldfish to the most expensive option of a large saltwater aquarium with beautiful tropical fish, coral, and other sea creatures. There is also a brackish aquarium which contain fish and animals found in coastal rivers where there is mix of fresh and saltwater. Many pet stores can help you decide which might be the best option for you.

Depending on what you decide you will most likely need (besides the aquarium), lighting, a pump, a filter, a heating device (if tropical), rocks, gravel, and some cleaning equipment. If you go with saltwater, you will need a salt, a hydrometer, and possibly chemical testing equipment. Saltwater and brackish fish and sea creatures are also the most expensive and least hardy, but they are also colorful and interesting.

In any event, do some research if you think it might help you or your family become healthier!

Author: Dan Remley, MSPH, PhD. Associate Professor, Field Specialist, Food, Nutrition, and Wellness, Ohio State University Extension

Reviewed by: Susan Zies, Assistant Professor, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Wood County

Sources

Cracknell, D., White, M. P., Pahl, S., Nichols, W. J., & Depledge, M. H. (2016). Marine Biota and Psychological Well-Being: A Preliminary Examination of Dose–Response Effects in an Aquarium Setting. Environment and Behavior, 48(10), 1242–1269. https://doi.org/10.1177/0013916515597512

Clements H, Valentin S, Jenkins N, Rankin J, Baker JS, Gee N, Snellgrove D, Sloman K. The effects of interacting with fish in aquariums on human health and well-being: A systematic review. PLoS One. 2019 Jul 29;14(7):e0220524. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0220524. PMID: 31356652; PMCID: PMC6663029.

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