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Top 6 Reasons Why Aquariums are Used in the Lobby of Doctor's Offices.

Updated: Jul 31, 2023

an aquarium with fish from reef system

Title: Top 6 Reasons Why Aquariums are Used in the Lobby of Doctor's Offices.


When you walk into the lobby of a doctor's office, you might notice a serene and captivating aquarium filled with colorful fish, gently gliding through the water. These aquatic displays have become a popular trend in medical settings, but do they serve a purpose beyond mere decoration? In this article, we will explore the top six reasons why aquariums are used in doctor's office lobbies and evaluate whether they genuinely make a difference in improving the patient experience or if they are simply a product of marketing hype.

1. Stress Reduction and Relaxation:

One of the primary reasons for incorporating aquariums into doctor's office lobbies is their proven ability to reduce stress and induce a sense of relaxation in patients. Watching fish swimming peacefully can help distract patients from their anxieties about medical visits and procedures, thereby creating a more calming and positive environment.

Several studies have shown that observing aquariums can lower blood pressure and reduce stress hormone levels. As stress is known to hinder the healing process, the presence of an aquarium in the lobby can contribute to overall patient well-being and recovery.

2. Distraction and Waiting Time:

Doctor's office visits often involve waiting, which can lead to restlessness and impatience among patients. Aquariums serve as a captivating distraction during these waiting periods, helping to make the time pass more quickly and comfortably.

By providing an engaging focal point, aquariums help patients take their minds off potential worries about their upcoming appointments, allowing them to enter their consultations with a calmer mindset.

3. Therapeutic Benefits:

Aquariums have been recognized for their therapeutic qualities, particularly in healthcare settings. Termed "aquarium therapy" or "fish therapy," watching fish swim can have a positive impact on mental health, reducing feelings of depression, anxiety, and even loneliness.

Incorporating aquariums into doctor's offices can create a more holistic healing environment, complementing traditional medical practices with a natural and non-invasive form of therapy.

4. Positive Distraction for Children:

Doctor's office visits can be especially daunting for children, as they often associate medical settings with discomfort or fear. The presence of an aquarium can act as a positive distraction, capturing the attention of young patients and making the experience more enjoyable.

The visual appeal of colorful fish can help ease children's nerves and improve their overall experience at the doctor's office, potentially reducing fear and resistance to medical examinations and treatments.

5. Improved Patient Perception:

Perception matters in the medical field. Doctor's offices that incorporate aquariums tend to be perceived as more welcoming, caring, and patient-centered. Such positive associations can enhance patients' overall satisfaction with the healthcare services they receive.

When patients feel more comfortable and at ease in the waiting area, it can positively impact their perception of the entire medical practice, including their interaction with healthcare professionals.

6. Aesthetics and Ambiance:

While the aforementioned reasons primarily focus on the psychological and emotional impact on patients, it is essential not to overlook the aesthetic benefits. Aquariums add a touch of natural beauty to otherwise clinical spaces, enhancing the ambiance of the doctor's office and making it more inviting for both patients and staff.


The presence of aquariums in the lobbies of doctor's offices offers more than just aesthetic appeal; they serve various practical and psychological purposes. From reducing stress and anxiety to providing positive distractions for patients, aquariums contribute to a more soothing and patient-centered environment.

While some might dismiss them as a marketing gimmick, the positive effects of aquariums on patient well-being and perception of healthcare facilities have been supported by research and clinical observations. As long as their upkeep and maintenance are handled responsibly, aquariums will continue to hold their place as valuable assets in the modern healthcare setting.

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