You no longer need to feel unproductive while spending time online watching cute videos of animals.
This is according to a University of Leeds study, which found that watching those adorable clips are actually good for your health.
The university partnered up with Tourism Western Australia to analyze the physiological and psychological effects on people watching cute animal movies.
The results were very encouraging and seemed to significantly reduce stress levels.
How do you measure the affects of ‘cute’?
The study involved 19 participants. Of those, four were academic support staff who had said they were feeling stressed at work. The other 15 were students, due to write an exam in 90-minutes time.
They were asked to watch a 30-minute show which included still images and video footage of several animals, including Australia’s famous quokka.
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The quokka is sometimes referred to as the planet’s ‘happiest’ animal. According to the WWF, the ‘small wallaby seems to wear a perpetual smile’.
The results were impressive. For all participants, heart rates dropped. Blood pressure also decreased on average from 136/ 88 to 115/ 71, the latter being close to an ideal pressure.
Anxiety levels meanwhile dropped by 35%, based on the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory as per the standard used by the American Psychological Association.
Study leader Dr Andrea Utley also believes that interaction with real live animals would be even more effective in combating stress and high blood pressure.
The researchers plan to do more tests still as their progress was reportedly slowed down by the coronavirus lockdowns.