Laughter is bad for you

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Laughter is bad for you

توضیح مختصر

Laughter isn't always the best medicine, says research

  • زمان مطالعه 6 دقیقه
  • سطح ساده

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Note: This is not a word-for-word transcript

Finn Hello and welcome to 6 Minute English with me, Finn.

Neil And me, Neil.

Finn Neil, I’m going to tell you a joke.

Neil OK, come on.

Finn Which part of learning the English language are boxers best at?

Neil Which part of English are boxers best at? I don’t know.

Finn Punch-uation (punctuation).

Neil That’s actually quite funny.

Finn Do you really think so?

Neil I do, yes.

Finn Well, I’m glad I made you laugh. But you might not thank me for it after the programme.

Neil Why’s that?

Finn Because a paper published by the British Medical Journal says that laughter is not always the best medicine, and sometimes, it can actually be harmful.

Neil Well, in that case I definitely won’t be laughing at your jokes any more! And, to be honest, it wasn’t funny anyway.

Finn Anyway, today we’ll be exploring the connection between laughter and health, and looking at some health-related vocabulary. But before we get into the story, Neil: a question. You’re a parent. At what age do babies begin to laugh? Is it:

a) 0-3 months

b) 3-6 months

c) 6-8 months

Neil Right I’m pretty sure, unless my memory is very bad, that it’s a) 0-3 months.

Finn OK, well, we will find out if you’re right at the end of the programme. OK, so laughter, as I said, is generally thought of as a good thing. There’s a phrase I said earlier which is: laughter is the best medicine.

Neil Yes, and talking of medicine, there are many medical studies which examine the benefits of laughter - it reduces stress, it’s good for your heart, things like that. But now you’re telling me it can have some negative effects?

Finn Well, why don’t we listen to Professor Robin Ferner, who is one of the authors of the research paper. How many negative effects of laughter does he mention?

INSERT Robin Ferner, University of Birmingham We found people with heart rhythm disturbance which had stopped their heart, we found people who had fainted, we found people whose gullets had burst, we found people who’d dislocated their jaws or burst their lungs.

Neil Quite a few! It seems laughing can be no laughing matter!

Finn Indeed - he mentions five problems caused by laughter, including heart rhythm disturbance, fainting, burst gullets, dislocated jaws and even burst lungs.

Neil Some of those sound quite nasty. Fainting is when you lose consciousness and pass out; and your gullet is the tube through which food passes from the mouth to the stomach, so a burst gullet would be horrible.

Finn I think it would be very bad! We also heard about burst lungs - lungs are the organs in your chest that you use to breathe. And - I think you’d have to be laughing really hard to do this - to get a dislocated jaw. To dislocate something is to move it out of its normal place or position, so you dis-locate it. A dislocated jaw - ouch.

Neil Well, thankfully there is no danger of dislocated jaws with your jokes Finn!

Finn OK! Well, in fact, these five dangers are only some that were mentioned in the study.

Neil But surely, there must have been some positive findings?

Finn Yes, let’s listen to Professor Robin Ferner again - which health benefit does he mention?

INSERT Robin Ferner, University of Birmingham You actually use energy when you laugh, you move your diaphragm, you expand your lungs, and both those things can be helpful. For example, it’s said that laughing for quarter of an hour will burn up 40 kcal, and if you laughed all day you’d use up about 2,000 calories.

Finn That’s more like it! Laughing can help you lose weight, because you use energy when you laugh.

Neil In fact, quite a lot of energy: if you laughed all day you’d use 2,000 calories, which is what most people consume in a day.

Finn He also thinks laughing makes people feel better, and it can reduce the chance of having a heart attack.

Neil So overall - what’s the story - laughing: good or bad?

Finn Well, he says for most people, most of the time, laughing is a great thing. And well, that’s good, because I like to laugh, don’t you Neil?

Neil Oh yes I do.

Finn Earlier I asked you Neil, at what age do babies begin to laugh? Was it 0-3 months, 3-6 months or 6-8 months?

Neil And I said 0-3 months.

Finn Well, Neil, the answer was in fact b) 3-6 months. A little bit later! And 0-3 months, which was your answer, Neil, is when babies smile for the first time.

Neil Well, you had the last laugh there Finn.

Finn Very good - and if you have the last laugh it means you’re successful in the end. Right, that’s it for this programme. Do log on to bbclearningenglish.com for more 6 Minute English. Goodbye!

Neil Bye.

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