Our society is facing a major challenge. We live in a sedentary age where repeated exposure to stress, unhealthy lifestyle, food and damaging habits such as the excessive use of alcohol, cigarettes and drugs, all negatively affect life at home and at work and are exposing people to major lifestyle diseases, including hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. This is happening on a global scale at a very high cost.

Laughter is a valid part of the solution. Everybody knows laughter feels good, but few realize it has a long documented list of positive, quantifiable physiological and psychological benefits that can be easily harnessed for better health, productivity and peak performance.

Studies that raise the alarm

Our world is struggling with the negative health effects of stress, unhealthy lifestyles, food and other damaging habits:
  • Stress has been called the “Health Epidemic of the 21st Century” by the World Health Organization1. 40% of job turnover is due to stress2. Healthcare expenditures are nearly 50% greater for workers who report high levels of stress3. Insurance data indicates insurance claims for stress related industrial accidents cost nearly twice as much as non-stress related industrial accidents4.
  • The annual cost of chronic pain in the USA is estimated to be $560-635 billion, including healthcare expenses and lost productivity5.
  • Depression is a major cause of disability, absenteeism, presenteeism (act of attending work while sick), and productivity loss among working-age adults6. The estimated cost of depression in the USA is $5,415 per treated employee, per year7.
  • The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 7 out of 10 deaths among Americans each year are from chronic diseases8. Heart disease, cancer and stroke account for more than 50% of all deaths each year.
  • Research suggests that lack of exercise causes as many as 1 in 10 premature deaths around the world each year — roughly as many as smoking9.
  1. Financial costs of job stress: http://lou.pm/cos
  2. Hoel, H., Sparks, K., & Cooper, C. (2001). The cost of Violence/Stress at work and the benefits of a violence/stress-free working environment. International Labor Organization.
  3. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Stress At Work Booklet. Publication No. 99-101.
  4. Perkins, A. (1994) Saving money by reducing stress. Harvard Business Review, 72(6), 12.20 Institute of Medicine. Relieving Pain in America, The National Academies Press. 2011. Cost of pain fact sheet: http://lou.pm/cop.
  5. Cost of depression factsheet: http://lou.pm/depression.
  6. Health and disability costs of depressive illness in a major U.S. corporation, Druss BG, Rosenheck RA, Sledge WH, Am J Psychiatry. 2000 Aug;157(8):1274-8. See http://lou.pm/hdc.
  7. Chronic diseases factsheet: http://lou.pm/cdc.
  8. Sitting is the new smoking: http://lou.pm/sitsmoke.
Actively disengaged employees erode an organization’s bottom line while breaking the spirit of colleagues in the process. The cost in the US is estimated to be more than $300 billion in lost productivity alone.
Gallup.com, Q12 Meta-Analysis
75% of healthcare costs are directly related to lifestyle and therefore, preventable.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Here is how the negative health effects of stress affect businesses:
Studies that offer solutions

A Revolutionary Approach

Laughter Wellness is a new, unique methodology that shows how laughter can be used to promote wellness and wellbeing throughout people’s lifespans. Its unique and thoroughly documented process offers a series of simple, safe and fun steps that help to heal the body, mind and spirit. It is based on the findings of published clinical researches.

Laughter positively affects all aspects of being. Studies show that it is a legitimate and powerful form of preventive (lifestyle) medicine, and a complementary option to other established therapeutic strategies for physiological, mental, and emotional health, and more.

  • Physiological benefits: laughter is a therapeutic ally in healing and a valuable form of preventive and complementary medicine. It provides important natural defenses against illness.
  • Mental benefits: laughter diffuses bad stress, enhances problem-solving skills, and creates a new perspective.
  • Emotional benefits: laughter elevates moods, counteracts depression symptoms.
  • Social benefits: laughter fosters better communication, and improves cooperation and empathy between people. It is a significant lubricant of human communication and relationships.
  • Spiritual wellbeing: choosing to laugh and be positive teaches us to choose to live and be at peace with others, with our self and with our environment in our current situation. It helps us build resilience to stress and find meaning in life. The essence of what Laughter Wellness teaches is summarized in the following question: “What can I do now to improve my life/work/situation with a positive attitude?”
Reference: http://www.laughteronlineuniversity.com/research

Benefits Compare To Aerobic Activity, But Without The Aches And Pains

Physical fitness stemming from laughter is a benefit known to few. Laughter is a recognized form of low-impact cardiovascular exercise. It jogs our internal organs and is particularly important for people who lead a sedentary life, seniors as well as bedridden or wheelchair-bound people (not to say that it also makes working out fun, not tedious!)

The magnitude of change we saw in the endothelium is similar to the benefit we might see with aerobic activity, but without the aches, pains and muscle tension associated with exercise. We don’t recommend that you laugh and not exercise, but we do recommend that you try to laugh on a regular basis. Thirty minutes of exercise three times a week, and 15 minutes of laughter on a daily basis is probably good for the vascular system.” — Michael Miller, M.D. (Director of Preventive Cardiology at the University of Maryland Medical Center)

Reference: http://www.laughteronlineuniversity.com/laughter-fitness/

Why workplace laughter makes business sense

There is one common sentence that business people (should) ask themselves when they are looking to purchase any sorts of goods or services and here it is: “how much money will this cost and/or make me?” Businesses talk in dollars so we’ve made it simple for you and matched the proven benefits that our laughter-based programs provide with money.

Workplace laughter is a realistic, sustainable, and generalizable intervention that enhances employees’ morale, resilience, and personal efficacy beliefs.
Beckman, H., Regier, N., & Young, J. (2007), Effect of workplace laughter groups on personal efficacy beliefs. The Journal of Primary Prevention, 28, 167-182.
Economics Of Wellbeing
A 2006 workplace laughter research with 50 IT professionals in India found a significant reduction in stress levels as shown by reduction in cortisol levels in saliva, and more:

A workplace laughter research conducted in December 2006 with 50 IT professionals found a significant reduction in stress levels as shown by reduction in cortisol levels in saliva, and more.

A 2009 one-month research in an Australian business found workplace laughter to be an effective intervention to increase general psychological wellbeing.

Noteworthy: “Participants felt immediately better.” (After one session.)

A 2009 one-month research in an Australian business found workplace laughter to be an effective intervention to increase general psychological wellbeing.

55 academic research on happiness that explain why it makes business sense.

A workplace laughter group can appeal to a diverse range of employees, can be effective with minimal investment of time, and may have sustained positive effects on self-beliefs that have been shown to correlate with positive workplace behaviors.Heidi Beckman, Ph.D., UWHC-Health Psychology

Safe, Low-Cost, Easy To Learn And Implement

We help your people achieve wellness through laughter by:

  • Low-impact aerobic exercise that works the mind and emotions in a physical way. Laughter gets the heart pumping more blood, and the lungs breathing more oxygen. Engaging in positive and life-affirming motions creates emotional and physical wellbeing.
  • Neuroplasticity that restructures the neurons of the brain to be more positive and creative. This is fundamental in the prevention and cure of many diseases such as dementia.
  • Connecting people regardless of age, race, or beliefs. It’s all about creating a safe space to vocalize emotions and be in the moment. It’s a form of joyful meditation.
Our workplace laughter interventions typically unfold in a smooth blend of action and relaxation, group interactions and introspection. Participants are taken on a fluid journey into the movements and behaviors of health, joy and connectedness, using whatever muscles are available to them. Sessions are filled with positive and life-affirming interactions. Laughter is the glue between all activities, and it is used as a form of elective exercise. There are no jokes or comedy. We simply choose to laugh, because we can. This is an activity that can be done standing or seated. No equipment or particular articles of clothing are required. The minimum recommended duration is 20 minutes. A typical intervention lasts 45 minutes to one hour.

 Experience and learn with leading experts

We are leading experts in therapeutic laughter with over a decade of hands-on experience teaching on 4 continents and offer keynotes, seminars, workshops and specialist trainings worldwide! Contact us for more information.