Study Says Watching Cute Animals Can Be Good For Your Health
In a revelation that should surprise absolutely no one, watching cute animals has been found to be beneficial to your health - in some cases reducing anxiety by up to 50 percent.
If you've ever watched a 12-minute compilation of adorable kittens and felt a little happier, that's not a surprise.
The University of Leeds wanted to see whether there was a science to the way we feel after viewing cute animals on our devices.
The study involved 15 students who were due to take an exam 90 minutes after the session, along with four academic staff who said they were feeling stressed at work.
The researchers asked participants to watch images and videos of beautiful looking specimens for 30 minutes and they had tests done on their blood pressure and heart rate and were asked to rank their anxiety levels.
Dr Andrea Utley, an associate professor at the University of Leeds, told CNN: "There were some kittens, there was puppies, there were baby gorillas. There were quokkas. You know - the usual stuff that you would expect."
To be honest, this sounds like it would be the best study to be a part of.
The study was conducted in the UK during December 2019, which was specifically chosen because the cold winter months can cause some people to be less happy.
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It was hoped the 30-minute reprieve would see anxiety levels drop off and blood pressure relax.
Dr Utley said: "I was quite pleasantly surprised that during the session, every single measure for every single participant dropped some - heart rate reduced, blood pressure reduced.
"When they left, they filled the questionnaire in again and indicated that they were feeling less anxious."
The average blood pressure for the people participating in the study fell from 136/88 to 115/71 - which is a fairly ideal number to be on. Average heart rates fell 6.65 percent to 67.4 beats per minute. Anxiety fell by 35 percent on average, dropping by up to 50 percent in some cases.
In order to measure anxiety, participants used the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, which is a self-assessment tool that clinicians use to diagnose how anxious someone is.
Unsurprisingly, participants found videos more stimulating and relaxing compared to images and preferred the ones that had animals interacting with humans.
More tests were organised to help consolidate the findings however they had to be postponed due to the coronavirus. It's hoped several more studies will be done over the coming months.
Featured Image Credit: Pixabay
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