Breakthrough Studies: Laughter Reduces Stress, Peaks Work Performance

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The world's first studies on the effects of laughter yoga sessions in the workplace show significant stress reductions and a sharp increase in work effectiveness. The US study indicates that three weeks of laughter sessions can significantly increase emotional intelligence, while the India study confirms stress reduction through physiological and psychological tests.

Mumbai, India (PRWEB) October 6, 2007 -- The world's first studies on the effects of Laughter Yoga confirm that laughter sessions at work can significantly reduce stress and increase work effectiveness.

Two studies, one in America and one in India, examine the effects of laughter sessions using techniques developed by Dr. Madan Kataria, an Indian physician known as the founder of Laughter Yoga. This exercise technique started in 1995 in India and has swept the world, with more than 5,000 laughter clubs meeting in more than 50 countries including the USA.

"I have always believed that laughter sessions were beneficial," said Dr. Kataria, "but I was surprised how conclusive the results of this scientific research are. One study shows improvements in work effectiveness of more than 100 percent, and the other confirms major stress reduction and a remarkable increase in emotional intelligence skills that are required for career and life success. It is significant that these results were achieved in just three weeks," says Kataria.

Scientists have long known that laughter causes the body to reduce stress levels and become healthy, but until now there has been no reliable way of prescribing or delivering laughter to give people these benefits.

Laughter Yoga approaches laughter as a form of body exercise -- anyone can laugh at any time without the use of jokes or humor. Because the brain is not involved in deciding to laugh this is known as 'unconditional laughter'. Participants claim to feel the benefits after just one session.

"This exercise is fun and easy to do," says Kataria, "and it makes you feel joyful as well as provides a great aerobic workout. People enjoy it so much they keep coming back for more." Doctors can now prescribe laughter session to patients who will benefit.

USA LAUGHTER STUDY

The American study shows that short daily laughter sessions significantly improve work performance. A group of 33 employees in a behavioral health center laughed together daily for 15 minutes for 15 days.

Researchers measured self efficacy, a term used to describe a group of twelve characteristics that reflect overall work effectiveness. Participants' self-competency scores more than doubled, relational competencies increased by almost 50 percent and role competency also doubled during the study.

All participants improved from being classed as 'having potential for growth and development' before the laughter sessions to 'company assets with enhanced abilities who can perform under stress'. The improvements remained significant in further tests 2-3 months later.

INDIA LAUGHTER STUDY

The second study focused on measuring changes in stress levels before and after three weeks of unconditional laughter sessions for computer programmers at three separate IT companies. Researchers carefully measured physical, psychological and emotional indicators of stress.

The laughter group showed a significant decrease in stress levels reflected in reduced heart rate and blood pressure, reduced cortisol levels and an 11 percent decrease in perceived stress levels. Other indicators confirmed that all participants showed significantly lower stress levels after three weeks of laughter sessions and were better able to cope with ongoing stress.

Dr. Kataria says "These studies provide solid evidence of the benefits of introducing laughter sessions in a corporate environment. Leading companies around the world are starting to provide laughter sessions as a means to improve sales and productivity and reduce stress. It makes the workplace a happier place, and that translates to better company performance."

See Laughter Yoga in action at http://www.targeturl.com/targetpage.html www.youtube.com/laughteryoga (http://www.youtube.com/laughteryoga) and find out more at www.laughteryoga.org (http://www.laughteryoga.org).

SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS & PHOTOS FOR PRESS at www.laughternews.org (http://www.laughternews.org) including:

- Summary USA study with printable graphs

- Summary India study with printable graphs

- Full Test of USA Laughter Study

- Full Text of India Laughter Study

- Laughter Yoga background document

- Bio Dr. Madan Kataria

- Press photos: Dr Kataria & Laughter

- Interview requests: Dr. Kataria is in the USA until 12 October then in Europe until 22 October.

For more information contact Bill Gee at Laughter Yoga International

email billgee(at)laughteryoga.org or call US 305 517 7688 (rings in Mumbai India) or India phone +91 98 3387 1010.

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