A rich vein of humour

Why comedy is good for the heart

Watching a comedy film is as good for the heart as a bout of aerobic exercise, according to new research.

In new findings published in the journal Heart, scientists say  that laughter helps keep the heart beating strongly by improving blood flow.

In the latest of many studies into the health benefits of laughter, a group of young adults in the States watched extracts from sad and funny films at least 48 hours apart.

Arterial blood flow was reduced in 70 per cent of participants after watching distressing film clips such as Saving Private Ryan But it was increased in 95 per cent of people after watching comedies such as There’s Something About Mary

Michael Miller, a cardiologist from the University of Maryland Medical Centre, said: “The extent of the impact of watching a sad film was of the same magnitude as remembering episodes of anger and doing mental arithmetic.

‘The impact of watching a funny film was equivalent to a bout of aerobic exercise.’


Published: 17 Jan 2006

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