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Laughter has similar positive effects as exercise, study finds

Published on 27/04/2010
New research has found that people can improve their physical and mental health simply by laughing.

A study by US scientists suggests a fit of the giggles can lower levels of 'bad' cholesterol, reduce stress hormones, boost the immune system and enhance mood – in much the same way as physical exercise does.

A team led Californian physician Dr Lee Berk measured the blood pressure and hormones of 14 healthy volunteers after they had viewed a distressing video clip and then again after seeing one which they found amusing.

In addition to the positive health effects, the scientists found that laughter also increased a person's appetite, meaning it could be used to treat malnourished patients suffering from a loss of hunger.

"The value of the research is that it may provide for those who are healthcare providers with new insights and understandings, and thus further potential options for patients who cannot use physical activity to normalise or enhance their appetite," said Dr Berk.

It is not the first time that laughter has been linked to improved health. In a 2005 study, it was proven that laughter can help keep blood vessels healthy by causing them to dilate in order to increase blood flow.
© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2010

Categories:  Health
Laughter has similar positive effects as exercise, study findsNew research has found that people can improve their physical and mental health simply by laughing.A study by US scientists suggests a fit o    tweet it on twittershare with your friends on Facebookshare with your friends on MySpaceBlog it on your LinkedIn profile

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