Collapsing into giggles could burn as many calories as a brisk walk, Scientists now say. Even a sneaky snigger could give your muscles a workout, burning around ten calories an hour, the new study found.
Dr Helen Pilcher, a comedian who has a PhD in biology, reviewed research on the dietary effects of laughter. Her results showed that the most intense form of laughing – defined as flat out, uncontrollable, roll on the floor howling – was found to burn 120 calories an hour, similar to the amount burnt by walking at a moderate pace.
Hearty belly laughs can burn up to 100 calories per hour, while irrepressible chuckling can burn up to 20 calories per hour. And a good laugh can help you to tone your stomach – meaning you could be honing your abs while sitting on the sofa watching TV.
Scientists have also discovered that one group of muscles, the internal obliques, which are important for creating a ‘six pack’, are activated more by cackling than by stomach crunches. Having a good guffaw also boosts blood flow, contributing to a cardiovascular workout that uses energy and so burns calories. So now you know.