This claim appears to have been initiated in 1969 by a journalist who interviewed Dr. William Fry, a then leading researcher into the psychology of laughter at Stanford University (emeritus professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences). In that interview Dr Fry claimed that the body gets a healthy “mini-workout” from a good guffaw. When asked to elaborate, he told the journalist that it took ten minutes on a rowing machine for his heart rate to reach the level it would after just one minute of hearty laughter. The journalist took this data at face value as an accepted scientific fact and simply chose to not mention the size of the research sample in his article that went viral: one person.
Urban Myth: One Minute Of Laughter Gives You The Same Benefits As 10 Minutes On A Rowing Machine
The size of that particular research sample was one person.
About the Author: Sebastien Gendry
Sebastien Gendry is a speaker, trainer and consultant, expert in laughter for wellness and wellbeing. He played a major role in introducing Laughter Therapy in North America, Russia, Palestine and other countries, inspired the creation of 100s of Laughter Clubs worldwide, and is the creator of the Laughter Wellness method. He has been offering a variety of laughter programs every year on three to four continents for the past decade and continues to do so.