Laughter is good for your health and your workplace

Laughter is not only good for you, it’s good for your workplace, according to Kate Hull-Rodgers, director of HumourUs,  who recently made the business case for humour at work at the IOSH Bristol & West Branch Conference.

Hull-Rodgers argues that people who have fun get more done, and laughing makes people happier, healthier and more efficient.

There are also clinically proven benefits: blood pressure goes down, the body releases endorphins, adrenalin in the body is neutralised, you have more energy, fertility increases, you recover better from illness, and quality of sleep improves.

But your sense of humour is the first thing to go when you become stressed. Your ‘fight or flight’ response is in permanent ‘flight’, which means that your body is producing more adrenalin than it can neutralise. This affects how you sleep, how you eat, and even whether you can reproduce.

We all need to laugh for 20 minutes every day to get the best out of it, but the average person only laughs for six minutes.

However, before you endeavour to start your morning meetings with a ‘knock-knock’ joke, be aware that humour involves a lot more than telling jokes.

And you need to be careful about how you go about making your workplace fun, because everyone has a different sense of humour. What’s appropriate for some may be offensive to others.

You could start a lottery syndicate, for example, or organise something for charity. If you haven’t already got a social committee, put one together and plan things out of the office that will help your staff have fun together.

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