Art can keep everyone in your office happy. A study done by the University of California, Berkeley indicates that art can actually help prevent disease.

The findings were published in the January 2015 edition of the journal Emotion. It presentedgreat-american-art-3 evidence that the positive feeling we experience when viewing certain types of art can have an anti-inflammatory effect, boosting the immune system to help protect the body from chronic disease.

The study was not limited to art. It looked at the role of art, nature, spirituality and other influences that brought about positive emotions and the impact that these emotions had on cytokine levels. Cytokines are proteins secreted by the immune system that regulate inflammation. Lower levels of cytokines lead to less inflammation and better health.

A group of more than 200 young adults were asked about how much they experienced positive emotions such as awe, amusement, compassion, contentment, joy and pride on a given day. Tissue samples were taken on the same day to measure cytokine levels. It was found that those who had experienced awe, wonder or amazement that day had lower levels of cytokines.

What type of art works best to dampen those cytokine levels?

In 1993 environmental psychologist Roger Ulrich and his colleagues at Uppsala University Hospital in Sweden randomly assigned 160 heart surgery patients in the intensive care unit to one of six conditions:

  • A large nature photograph of an open, tree-lined stream
  • A large nature photograph of a shadowy forest scene
  • One of two abstract paintings
  • A white panel
  • A blank wall

Surveys afterward confirmed that patients assigned the water and tree scene were less anxious and needed fewer doses of strong pain medicine than those who looked at the darker forest photograph, abstract art or no pictures at all.

Great American Art believes in the power of art. Great American designs art solutions that will have a positive and healthy affect on the people who interact in the office. Here at Andy Stern’s we have been proud to offer Great American products to our clients in the DC Metro area for over two decades. Along with designing your new office we can also help you select the perfect artwork for your office.  We’ve been providing office furniture to Washington area offices for over 65 years and have the largest selection of office furniture around. Give us a call. We’re here to help.

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