New study reveals animals can relieve our stress levels

Last updated at 07:24
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If you're stressed, this might be helpful...

A new academic study has revealed how animals can relieve stress levels.

The University of Leeds has found that high levels of anxiety, blood pressure and heart rates reduced to lower levels, half an hour after people watched videos of animals.

The study involved 15 students from the University who were sitting exams later in the day, plus other staff there who were feeling stressed at work.

They were asked to view images and videos of cute animals for a total of 30 minutes, because researchers wanted to explore the physiological and psychological impact that exposure to cute animals can have on individuals.

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What were the results of the study?
Lion cub, duckling and alpaca.Getty Images
There were lots of animals on the videos including lion cubs, ducks and alpacas.
  • Heart rates dropped by an average of 6.5% in just 30 minutes
  • Blood pressure fell from a pre-high state of hypertension to a healthier reading in line with 'normal' levels.
  • Anxiety levels within the group reduced by an average of 35%, with some individuals experiencing a fall of almost 50%.
Which cute animals were on the list?
A smiling quokkaGetty Images
Quokkas were an important part of the survey

On the list of animals were ducks, kittens, cats, puppies, dogs, alpacas, tiger cubs, lion cubs, baby gorillas, monkeys and quokkas.

The study - in partnership with Tourism Western Australia - found that consuming content of quokkas, which are mini marsupials found in Western Australia - had a significant and immediate positive impact on participants.

The research has had such a big impact, that videos will be sent to students in the future to improve to improve mental well being before taking exams.

Quokka smilingGetty Images
Quokkas are often called the "happiest animal on the planet"

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