You’ve heard the saying before, but a new study recently found that laughter really is the best medicine. Researchers at California’s Loma Linda University studied 20 healthy older adults in their 60’s and 70’s. The results found that humor can actually lower stress levels and improve short-term memory.
Laughter Can Help Stress
The study was broken into two groups. One was asked to sit in a room silently, not talking, reading or using their cell phones. The other group watched funny videos.
The participants remained in the room for 20 minutes. After leaving the room, participants had to give saliva samples and take a short memory test. Each group performed better after taking a break. However, the humor group performed significantly better in terms of memory recall. Participants in the humor group had a 43.6 percent recall ability, while the non-humor group only had a 20.3 percent.
After watching the humorous videos, the group showed significantly lower levels of cortisol, which is commonly know as the stress hormone. The other group’s stress level only decreased a little.
Laughter and Medicine
The study concluded that humor could have clinical benefits, rehabilitative implications and can support wellness for older adults. Their learning ability and memory could increase if exposed to humor.
There have been other studies regarding the health benefits of laughter throughout the US. A study done by Vanderbilt University found that people can burn up to 40 calories when they laugh for 15 minutes. Another study by University of Maryland revealed that having a good sense of humor can actually protect against heart disease.
As if lower stress, protection against heart disease and a better memory aren’t enough, researchers claimed that there are even more benefits of laughter.
A co-author of the Loma Linda University study stated, “There are several benefits to humor and laughter. Older adults need to have a better quality of life. Incorporating time to laugh, through social interaction with friends, enjoying exercise in a group setting, or even watching 20 minutes of humor on TV daily, can enhance your learning ability and delayed recall.”
Prescription for Humor
In order to maintain a healthy lifestyle, laughter needs to be included on a regular basis. There are many things in society that can instantly create laughter. Watch a funny TV show or browse the Internet for hilarious cat photos. There are an endless amount of ways that can get people laughing.
Everyone has busy lives between work, school and family. It is critical for our health and sanity that we take a little time out of each day to dedicate to humor. Ultimately, a little laughter a day will make a huge difference in the overall quality of life.
Laughter may help solve a lot of medical problems, but for everything else you’ll need to visit a doctor at Las Vegas Urgent Care. They provide a wide array of healthcare services, all in a more efficient manner than an emergency room. The facility has state-of-the-art technology to ensure you are getting quality care. For more information about health care in Las Vegas, contact 702.852.2000.