Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Anti Heart Disease #3: Laughter Almost As Beneficial As Workout

Nature News and New Scientist both report on a study showing that laughter may be almost as good for cardiovascular health as stress is bad. Measurements on people watching 15-minute film clips of either "harrowing" or "comical" nature showed that stress decreased blood flow by an average of 35%, while laughter increased blood flow by 22%. The effects were due to constriction and relaxation of artery walls, respectively. The effect of stress was expected, but not the magnitude of the effect of laughter.

And watching a comedy or reading a funny book is bound to have less side effects than medication.


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