Laughing for 10 to 15 minutes raises energy expenditure, increases heart rate, and can burn up to 40 calories. However, it’s not a weight-loss method. “People can’t eat at McDonald’s and then expect to laugh away their lunch,” says Dr. Maciej Buchowski, a professor of medicine at Vanderbilt University. Even so, a few calories every day translates to a few pounds a year.
Makes you feel good
Laughing increases positive endorphins, reduces stress and strengthens the immune system. Even just anticipating something funny increases anti-viral, anti-tumour defences, reports Dr. Lee Berk of the School of Medicine at Loma Linda University. The benefits of humour can last up to 24 hours.
Increases job satisfaction
Humour improves communication, creativity and overall performance in the workplace, says Dr. Chris Robert. He’s a psychology professor and researcher at the University of Missouri-Columbia who studied how laughter affects employees. He says, “The ability to appreciate humour, the ability to laugh and make other people laugh, actually has physiological effects on the body that cause people to become more bonded.”