After a bout of laughter you may feel exhausted, as if you’ve spent a lot of energy during physical exercise. According to a Stanford University study, this is actually the case – laughing burns calories, and not an insignificant amount either. So how many calories do you burn by laughing? Apparently laughing 200 times burns the equivalent of 10 minutes on a rowing machine. The study does not specify the speed with which you operate the rowing machine, or the difficulty level of the magnetic resistance, so this is a rough approximation at best. However, using some commonly accepted values, we can say that 10 minutes on a rowing machine burns around 250 calories for a man of average weight. We can further assume that we laugh with a frequency of about 3 laughs per second. This all equates to a burn rate of about 160 calories per hour for laughing.
So it seems that the question ‘how many calories can you burn from laughing’ actually has a semi sensible answer. Of course, the above value will vary greatly, depending on your style of laughing. People who guffaw will expend much more energy than those who chortle. Also, unless you have mental health problems, you will probably not laugh for an hour a day, so the amount burnt by laughing will not add a great amount to your daily burnt calories.
How many calories you burn laughing, smiling and expressing other positive emotions will have effects on your body, other than burning calories. Laughter will decrease blood pressure and increase the oxygen content of your blood, boosting your energy levels. You also relax your muscles and release endorphins through laughter, so you benefit greatly from being happier, even if the raw calorie burn rate isn’t that high.