Study: Spending ten minutes a day with animals can notably decrease stress
A new study conducted by scientists at Washington State University says spending just ten minutes a day with dogs or cats can significantly reduce stress and anxiety.
Many universities, including LSU, have launched "pet therapy" sessions to ease the minds of overworked, stressed out students.
"Just 10 minutes can have a significant impact," said Associate Professor Patricia Pendry. "Students in our study that interacted with cats and dogs had a significant reduction in cortisol, a major stress hormone."
In addition to improving students' moods, scientists say contact with animals can have stress-relieving physiological benefits.
In the past, pet therapy programs have also proven to raise the spirits of residents at senior living homes by sending puppies to visit. Many patients suffering from memory loss often experience side effects like paranoia and depression. The program says puppies can help boost the quality of life for these seniors.
"Over time, the reduction of stress hormones may have serious benefits for physical and mental health," Pendry added.