Watching a film that makes you laugh is good for your heart, according to a study. Researchers found watching a movie or programme that produces laughter has a positive effect on vascular function and is opposite to that observed after watching a war or horror film that causes mental stress.
In the study volunteers watched segments of a funny film - such as There's Something About Mary starring Cameron Diaz - on one day and on another day watched the opening segment of the stressful war film Saving Private Ryan.
Lead investigator Dr Michael Miller from the University of Maryland School of Medicine in the U.S. said that when the volunteers watched the stressful film, their blood vessel lining developed a potentially unhealthy response called vasoconstriction, reducing blood flow. He said this finding confirms previous studies, which suggested there was a link between mental stress and the narrowing of blood vessels.
领衔实验的研究员Dr Michael Miller 说：“在实验中，当志愿者观看惊悚片时，他们的血管收缩呈现不健康的反映，比如--减小血管直径使供给某区域的血流减少，换句话来说就是血流量减少速度过快。这证明了先前实验的结论--精神压力大与血管收缩之间有直接的联系。”
However, after watching the funny movie, the blood vessel lining expanded. Overall, more than 300 measurements were made with a 30 to 50 per cent difference in blood vessel diameter between the laughter and mental stress phases. Dr Miller said: 'The take-home message here is that laughter is great for your heart.