Take a Laughter Break

You're in the business of health and fitness, but how do you feel? If you and your staff are continually stressed out, those vibes surely will filter out where your members can sense them. That's certainly not the ideal aura in which to promote good health!

Some recent scientific data suggest that the simple act of laughing at work can inject that coveted joie de vivre back into your day. One reported study, conducted at Canadian financial institutions, found that managers who facilitated the highest level of employee performance used humor the most often.

Author David Granirer, MA, writes that scientific data have affirmed that laughter is an integral part of physical wellness.

  • For instance, William Fry, MD, of Stanfor found that laughing 200 times burns off the same amount of calories as 10 minutes on a rowing machine.
  • Another study found that after a bout of laughter, blood pressure drops to a lower, healthier level.
  • Laughter also oxygenates the blood, thereby increasing energy level, and relaxes muscles and works out all major internal systems, such as the cardiovascular and respiratory systems.
  • Lee Berk, DrPH, of the Loma Linda School of Public Health in California, found that laughing can make the immune system grow stronger; the body's T cells, natural killer cells and antibodies all show signs of increased activity.

So try encouraging your staff to use their senses of humor on the job. In addition to the many health benefits a few chuckles can foster, you'll have a happy, smiling employee team on your hands.

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March 2002

© 2002 by IDEA Health & Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited.

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