Laughing may be bad for the lungs

Aug. 5, 2011 at 1:48 AM   |   Comments

COLUMBUS, Ohio, Aug. 5 (UPI) -- Having a sense of humor has health benefits but the actual act of laughing can reduce lung function, at least in the short term, U.S. researchers suggest.

The researchers evaluated humor and laughter in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Participants who exhibited a greater sense of humor were more likely than others to report fewer symptoms of depression and anxiety, and better quality of life -- and tended to report that they had experienced fewer respiratory illnesses in the month before the study.

However, the study published in the journal Heart & Lung, finds patients who watched a 30-minute comedy video and laughed during the viewing had lower pulmonary function afterward than did patients who watched a home-repair video that did not prompt laughter.

"This study shows that humor is really more complex than people make it out to be," senior author Charles Emery, a professor of psychology at Ohio State University, says in a statement. "Yes, humor definitely has benefits, but the behaviors associated with humor in fact may not be good for all people all the time -- which is a useful thing to know."

COPD is a chronic, progressive disorder characterized by difficulty breathing, and especially in expelling air from the lungs.

© 2011 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Recommended UPI Stories
Featured UPI Collection
2014: The Year in Music [PHOTOS]

2014: The Year in Music [PHOTOS]

Most Popular
New research explains insomnia prevalence among elderly
Police search for California man with drug-resistant TB
New data shows Melbourne is most well-rested city in the world
New research details rare cancer that killed Bob Marley
Daughters more likely than sons to care for elder parents
Trending News