A study led by the University of Leeds alongside Tourism Western Australia, saw 90 participants look at videos of quokkas – long touted as the ‘happiest animal in the world’ – for 30 minutes.
This sample included 15 students who were preparing to take an exam 90 minutes after the experiment and four university staff who had previously stated feeling stressed at work.
It said that the average blood pressure dropped from 136/88 to 115/71, with one participant’s heart rate falling from 90bpm to 68bpm – a drop of more than 24% across the whole group. Anxiety dropped by 35% on average, with some experiencing a reduction of nearly 50%.
One of the researches involved in the study, Dr. Andrea Utley, commented:
It was clear that students were anxious ahead of their exams, with heart rates and blood pressure for most participants mildly elevated before our session took place. Indeed, in some individuals, heart rate and blood pressure were even higher, indicating a higher level of stress for those participants.
Throughout the course of the session, heart rates and blood pressure fell across all individuals to a level that would be considered healthy and indicative of limited stress or anxiety.
UK Market Manager for Tourism Western Australia, Elen Thomas, said, “The study results are a fantastic reminder that we benefit massively from exploring and enjoying the natural world. We hope to welcome UK visitors to Western Australia soon. In the meantime, we hope Quokka TV provides a welcome mood boost,”.