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factsheet

positive distraction

humour

social interaction

HUMOR AND HEALTH

SOCIAL INTERACTION AND RECOVERY

Some of the documented scientific findings on the effects of humour and laughter include : • Relaxing tense muscles (Fry, 1989) • Boosting the immune system (Berk L., 2001& Berk, 1989) • Increasing Pain tolerance (Cogan, 1987) • Decreasing anxiety (Lefcourt, 1995) • Stabilising mood fluctuations (Martin R. A., 1983) • Resting the brain (George, 1995) • Enhancing communication (Blazer, 1993) creativity (Miller, 1983), and memory (Lyubomirsky, 2005)

Cross-sectional studies have related social support to health, and social support has also been shown to be important in achieving and maintaining health behavior change. (Fowler, 2008)

POSITIVE DISTRACTION AND PAIN

Generally people with social contact experience less stress, and have higher level of wellness. (Nesmith, 1995)

Recently studies of distraction using functional imaging techniques ( usually through scanning of the brain) have shown that distraction induced reductions in pain perception are accompanied by reduced activity in a number of the areas that typically show increased responding during painful stimulation. (Johnson, 2005)

Additionally the quality of your friends doesn’t seem to affect your health. Your perception of your friends is more important than what they may be like. What is important is perceived support (Unchino, 2004).

Sometimes patients with chronic pain are prescribed distraction in the form of homework. (Gil, 1988)

There is an increasing amount of research being done on this topic. Having social relationships in a health orientated setting has been found to: • Reduce Morbidity/ Chance of Death (Berkman, 1992) (Rutledge 2004) • Improve cancer survival rates (Ell, K 1992) • Increase immunity ( Lee, M. 2001)

Helping a friend when ill, it is not just beneficial for the patient, but to the helper themselves ( Helgeson, 2000) It makes them feel good. In psychology it is called the helper-therapy principle.


factsheet 20

STATE OF HEALTH 19.4

15

According to the World Health Organization, health is “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.� (World Health Organization, 1948)

high bood pressure

tobacco use

10

physical inactivity

high glucose

obesity

5 hiv/ aids

0

million deaths per year

malaria

58.8 million lives around the world are lost yearly due to lifestyle diseases. The most common reasons for mortality in one of the most recent statistics were high blood pressure (13% of all deaths), tobacco use (9%), high glucose (6%), physical inactivity (6%) and being overweight or obese (5%). (WHO, 2009) Image left. The time spent in hospitals for recovery continues to decrease yearly (Winslow, 2010)

(WHO,2009) Length of Hosptial Stay

Today we have a booming $825 billion pharmaceutical industry today (IMS Health , 2009)

DECREASING

uk

(HCUPS, NHS, AIWH, CBS)

au

nl

=ONE DAY

usa


Health Facts  

Trends in health infographics. The benefits of humor, positive distraction and social interaction on the sick body