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 an American expert on laughter and how to unlock its many benefits to promote wellness and wellbeing in everyday life, at home and at work. A work-related burnout and ensuing journey towards recovery led him to discover and fall in love with the world of therapeutic laughter in the early 2000s. He has since traveled close to one million miles over the past decade offering a variety of laughter and empowerment programs to 1,000s of people on four continents, and continues to do so. [Read more.]