It is scientifically demonstrated that contact with animals reduces stress
Animal therapy , which reduces stress and restores confidence by interacting with animals , is widely used around the world. On the other hand, although there has been little scientific evidence that animal therapy has a positive impact on humans, the research team of Patricia Pendley , Associate Professor of Human Development at Washington State University, and others, has come into contact with animals. We have found in experiments that human stress hormones are reduced.
Animal Visiting Program (AVP) Reduces Cortisol Levels of University Students: A Randomized Controlled Trial-Patricia Pendry, Jaymie L. Vandagriff, 2019
Study Shows The Effect Petting Your Dog or Cats on Stress Levels
Many college students in the United States feel stressed in their daily lives, and they are led by schools to reduce stress by providing opportunities for students to interact with animals. 'We knew that our students were happy to interact with animals and have positive emotions,' says Pendley.
Although it was already known that animal therapy would bring about certain results, the research team conducted experiments to measure stress reduction that contact with animals objectively, not subjectively. The research team divided the randomly extracted 249 students into 4 groups and measured the stress of the students quantitatively by measuring the amount of the hormone cortisol contained in the saliva. Cortisol is known to be released by stress and is an objective indicator for measuring stress levels.
The first group actually touched with animals such as dogs and cats for 10 minutes. And the second group had another student watch for 10 minutes playing with the animals, and the third group had a slide show of the animal's images for 10 minutes. The fourth group was simply told, 'I'll see the animals soon,' and I was left for 10 minutes without actually touching the animals or looking at the images.
Participants collected saliva during the morning on the day of the experiment, and 10 and 25 minutes after the experiment, and the research team measured the cortisol levels in the saliva. As a result of the experiment, it was found that the first group in contact with the animals had significantly lower post-experimental cortisol levels than all other groups.
The decrease in cortisol levels in the first group was confirmed regardless of the level of cortisol collected from the saliva when waking up in the morning, the time when waking up in the morning, and the circadian rhythm of the participants. In other words, this experiment showed that contact with animals for as little as 10 minutes could have a significant impact on students' physical stress levels.
Because the sample size is small in this research, the research team admits that it is important to continue research in the future. On the other hand, using an objective index to investigate the physical effects of touching animals on humans reveals the interaction of animal therapy, and how long should animals and humans be in contact? The research team said it would help determine the