Taking into account that the average employee spends 3,515 full days in the office in their lifetime – not to mention an additional 188 days of overtime – it’s no wonder that top firms are reviewing the ways that their headquarters feel, function and flow. Now Midlands-based aquarium design company, ViDERE, has developed a remedy in the form of interacting with fish-tanks and it hopes the discovery will help more employees keep their heads above water.
At a time when workplace stress is on the rise, with recent research showing that it cost UK employers over £43bn a year, ViDERE took a deep-dive into the effect that interacting with aquariums has on key stress indicators. Looking specifically at the impact on heart rate and blood pressure, ViDERE recorded results before and after employees at Lightbox Digital looked into their office fish-tank for ten minutes.
The results across the board show that looking into a planted aquarium for 10 minutes led to an average drop in blood pressure by 15.6% and an average drop in heart rate by 3%, reinforcing ViDERE’s initial theory that fish-tanks have a positive effect on mental wellbeing in the workplace.
Discussing the results, ViDERE founder and pioneer of the study, Akil Beckford, commented:
“The research into biophilia and the impact that the natural world has on our human emotions has risen in recent years and has shown staggering results. While our own study was on a small scale, the universal impact that it had on our individual test subjects is testament to the impact that simple changes can make to the bigger picture for businesses. All companies are made up of teams of people, and if they are feeling better, the business performs better… it’s simple!
“The world seems to be constantly pushing high-tech boundaries and striving for smarter homes, offices, and community areas; but we are in danger of losing touch with nature, with potentially catastrophic results on our own health and wellbeing. Of course, we aren’t saying that technology is bad – quite the opposite in fact! – but it does serve as a warning that if we don’t start thinking about the way that the two can co-exist symbiotically, and designing our spaces to reflect that, then our wellbeing may well suffer.”
Akil and his team at ViDERE intend to continue educating people in the business community about how they can better facilitate wellbeing at work. Having already worked with the likes of Interface, Poggenpohl, and Clements and Church, and seeing first-hand the impact that aquariums have had, Akil is confident that he can continue to lead the way as an advocate for biophilia in the Midlands.
What’s more, the team will be hosting its second ViDERE Life Gallery – a one-week exhibition showcasing an art gallery of nature aquariums and natural art, all curated to inspire ideas about how we can incorporate nature into our business and commercial spaces.
This will take place during the week of March 9 and will be open to open to the public and business community. During the launch, Akil will do a presentation on the study he and his team carried out and its links with biophilia and business culture. Throughout the week there will be workshops, small events, and CPD talks, as well as live stream interviews introducing you to the amazing world of Aquarium Design, Human-Centred Design and biophilia.