Five Good Reasons to Laugh More


By Allen Klein, MA, CSP (aka Mr. Jollytologist®)


Every month, members of The Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor ( sends out an e-zine containing information on the latest humor/laughter research. This past January, the e-zine contained an extra treat.
Editor Bob Nozik listed the five top humor/laughter scientific findings from last year. I would like to share some of this important information with you.

1 - Heart Health
The top story was about the work of Michael Miller, MD, from the University of Maryland. Miller found that laughter causes blood vessel dilatation. The importance of this is that laughter can improve circulatory and cardiovascular health.

2 - Immune System Benefits
Dr. Lee Berk's study showed that laughter causes endorphin release. The findings have yet to be published but since endorphins help keep our immune system healthy, this could be an important never-before-documented discovery.

3 - Children vs. Adult Laughter
For years, it has often been claimed that adults only laugh 15 times a day while children laugh 300 to 400 times.
Dr. Rod Martin found that a review of the literature does not support this claim. In fact, indications are that adults might actually laugh a bit more than children.

4 - Good Exercise
Another study, from Dublin, Ireland, shows that laughter causes a rise in blood pressure. Other studies show that blood pressure drops for a time when we stop laughing. Which is very much like aerobic exercise.
So put away your running shoes and start laughing.

5 - Laugh to Loose Weight
At Vanderbilt University researchers found that laughter burns a bit more than one calorie per minute. Fifteen minutes of laughter every day could lead you to lose up to four pounds per year.
(Of course, if you are eating a bowl of ice cream while laughing, I'm not sure what it would do to the statistics in this study.)

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