According to scientists, a child laughs on average three to four hours a day, while an adult only 20 minutes.  By the way, why do we laugh and what are the main beneficial effects of laughter on our body and health? After reading the following, do not hesitate to burst out laughing!

Smiling and laughter are universal human behaviors that involve the active participation of a wide variety of functional elements of the body.  In addition to its benefits in our society, where it represents a sign of good will, laughter increases communication, connects people and contributes to a positive atmosphere, laughter is an elyksir for our body and health.  It has been known for many years that laughter associated with humor has a close, but complex, link with the cardiovascular system.  Indeed, studies at the University of Maryland, USA, show that laughing daily would prevent the risk of a heart attack.  To understand the effects of laughter on heart function, the cardiologists in this study compared the humorous responses of a sample of 300 people.  Half of the participants already had a history of heart attack or had undergone arterial coronary intervention.  The second half consisted of healthy participants with no episodes of heart disease.  All had to submit themselves a questionnaire which allowed to test their humor in certain situations, as well as to measure their degree of anger and hostility.  In this study, scientists found that people with cardiovascular disease responded with less humor to everyday life issues.  In principle, they are the ones who laugh the least often, even in a humorous and positive situation, and importantly, they also showed more anger and hostility towards the various fictitious events proposed.

The conclusion of this study is not surprising!  The ability to feel emotions and express behaviors such as laughter, whether natural or acquired, has a significant impact on our society, where cardiovascular disease is one of the leading causes of death.  In addition to the beneficial effects of laughter on our cardiovascular system, laughter makes it easier to cope with serious diseases such as cancer, and can be considered the # 1 drug for these patients.  The list of benefits of laughter is therefore infinite …  It stimulates the immune and circulatory systems as well as the lungs function, increases the oxygen uptake, allows the relaxation of our muscles, induces the release of endorphins (painkillers naturally produced by the body) and allows pain relief, reduces anxiety and negative feelings, facilitates digestion and eliminates stomach upset, burns calories, balances blood pressure and improves mental functions such as memory and creativity.  On a more general level, laughter reduces the stress and pressure we put on each day, improves sleep and overall attitude, increases quality of life, strengthens social bonds and relationships, and ultimately produces general feeling of well-being.

Laugh, it’s good for your health!



Michael Miller and William FFry (2009).  The Effect of Mirthful Laughter on the Human Cardiovascular System.  Med Hypotheses 73 (5) : 636


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