Ever find yourself staring at a fish tank while you wait in a doctor’s office? If you have, you’re doing  something much better for you than staring at the screen of your smartphone, and it’s not by chance.

An article published in July of 2015 says that British researchers have discovered that watching fish can me a very healthy activity. The article states, “In the first study of its kind, experts from the National Marine Aquarium, Plymouth University and the University of Exeter assessed people’s physical and mental responses to tanks containing varying levels of fish.

The team found that viewing aquarium displays led to noticeable reductions in blood pressure and heart rate, and that higher numbers of fish helped to hold people’s attention for longer and improve their moods.”

Deborah Cracknell, a PhD student at Plymouth University and Lead Researcher at the National Marine Aquarium, conducted the study and believes it provides an important first step in our understanding. She said:

“Fish tanks and displays are often associated with attempts at calming patients in doctors’ surgeries and dental waiting rooms. This study has, for the first time, provided robust evidence that ‘doses’ of exposure to underwater settings could actually have a positive impact on people’s well-being.”

But you don’t have to schedule a trip to the dentist or family doctor to enjoy the calming effects associated with watching fish. Summer is the perfect time for travel so why not visit places with family or friends where fish live so you can incorporate a healthy activity into what often ends up being a stressful. The East Coast has some great aquariums to enjoy.

While we are fortunate to have a number of beautiful places to visit on the East Coast, residents of Northeastern Pennsylvania also have some amazing water features in our backyard.

Electric City Aquarium and Reptile Den is coming soon to the Marketplace at Steamtown in Scranton and our very own Edward’s Garden Center in Forty Fort features a variety of beautifully landscaped ponds with colorful koi fish.

Watching koi swim can help you relieve stress. It becomes meditative.

We welcome you to sit on a bench, watch those beautiful fish move about and feel your stress level lower, while your blood pressure does the same. If the experts are right then your mood should lift too.  You may feel so good that you’ll want to create a pond in your backyard to visit day or night. Then you can start and end each day with a sense of beauty, peace and joy. And remember: #growthhappenswhenyougarden.

Visit us any time to get an eyeful of beauty!