Display Settings:


Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Int J Obes (Lond). 2007 Jan;31(1):131-7. Epub 2006 May 2.

Energy expenditure of genuine laughter.

Author information

  • 1Department of Medicine, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, USA. maciej.buchowski@vanderbilt.edu



To measure energy expenditure (EE) and heart rate (HR) during genuine laughter.


Experimental trial of viewing film clips in four cycles either intended to evoke laughter (humorous -10 min) or unlikely to elicit laughter (not humorous -5 min) under strictly controlled conditions of a whole-room indirect calorimeter equipped with audio recording system.


Forty five adult friend dyads in either same-sex male (n=7), same-sex female (n=21) and mix-sex male-female (n=17); age 18-34 years; body mass index 24.7+/-4.9 (range 17.9-41.1).


Energy expenditure in a whole-room indirect calorimeter, HR using Polar HR monitor. Laugh rate, duration and type from digitized audio data using a computerized system and synchronized with HR and EE results.


Laughter EE was 0.79+/-1.30 kJ/min (0.19+/-0.31 kcal/min) higher than resting EE (P<0.001, 95% confidence interval=0.75-0.88 kJ/min), ranging from -2.52 to 9.67 kJ/min (-0.60-2.31 kcal/min). Heart rate during laughter segments increased above resting by 2.1+/-3.8 beats/min, ranging from -7.6 to 26.8 beats/min. Laughter EE was correlated with HR (r (s)=0.250, P<0.01). Both laughter EE and HR were positively correlated with laughter duration (r (s)=0.282 and 0.337, both P<0.001) and rate (r(s)=0.256 and 0.298, both P<0.001).


Genuine voiced laughter causes a 10-20% increase in EE and HR above resting values, which means that 10-15 min of laughter per day could increase total EE by 40-170 kJ (10-40 kcal).

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Images from this publication.See all images (4)Free text

Figure 1
Figure 2
Figure 3
Figure 4
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Nature Publishing Group Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk