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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 5, Issue 1, Pages 37-40

Humor and Laughter May Influence Health: III. Laughter and Health Outcomes

1Indiana State University College of Nursing, 749 Chestnut Street, Terre Haute, IN 47809, USA
2University of South Florida, USA

Received 23 January 2007; Accepted 16 February 2007

Copyright © 2008 Mary Payne Bennett and Cecile Lengacher. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This is part three of a four-part series reviewing the evidence on how humor influences physiological and psychological well-being. The first article included basic background information, definitions and a review of the theoretical underpinnings for this area of research. The second article discussed use of humor as a complementary therapy within various clinical samples, as well as evidence concerning how a sense of humor influences physiological and psychological wellbeing. This third article examines how laughter influences health outcomes; including muscle tension, cardio-respiratory functioning and various stress physiology measures.