Nineteen subjects were shown a thirty-minute video last winter, containing photos and moving images of various cuddly animals. “We had puppies, kittens and baby gorillas, among others,” explains Professor Andrea Utley, who led the study and compiled the images.
Fifteen students and four university employees viewed the images, CNN reports. A conscious choice was made for a winter period in which the students had to take their exams. According to Utley, this usually causes more stress.
All subjects decreased blood pressure, heart rate and stress levels when viewing the animals. “I was pleasantly surprised by those results,” says Utley. After seeing the images, the students and staff filled in a list with questions about how they felt. “That was better for everyone than before.”
The study, commissioned by an Australian tourism agency, found that moving images fared better than photos, especially when the animals were shown interacting with people.
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