Two studies completed in 2007 may help convince the business world of the potential of Laughter Yoga for business. Both studies used a series of Laughter Yoga sessions (rather than funny movies or humor) to generate laughter in the workplace and measured stress and emotional variables before and after the course of the study.
In December 2006, Laughter Yoga International commissioned a scientific research project involving 200 IT professionals in Bangalore, India, to study the effects of Laughter Yoga on their stress levels. Seven Laughter Yoga sessions were administered to half the group over an 18 day period, with physiological, immunological and psychological tests performed on each person before and after the Laughter Yoga sessions.
The study was undertaken by one of India’s leading scientific research organizations.
The results of the Bangalore study were extremely positive. In the Laughter Yoga group there was a significant drop in heart rate, blood pressure dropped significantly, cortisol levels were significantly reduced, positive emotions increased by 17% and negative emotions dropped by 27%, perceived stress dropped significantly, and Alexithymia dropped by almost 9%, indicating a significant improvement in emotional intelligence.
Here is a brief summary of the Bangalore Study results:
US STUDY (BECKMAN, REGIER & YOUNG)
Another important 2007 study in the United States looked at the effects of Laughter Yoga on personal efficacy in the workplace.
Self-efficacy is the belief in one’s ability to organize and carry out courses of action necessary to achieve a goal or manage a situation (Bandura, 1986). This personal belief influences the choices people make, the effort they put forth into working toward a goal, how long they persist when confronted with obstacles, and how they feel during the process of working toward goals. Self-efficacy beliefs affect performance in the workplace.
Personal efficacy testing was done the week before, the week after, and 60-90 days after the series of daily Laughter Yoga sessions. Laughter Yoga was administered for 15 minutes a day for 14 days.
The results show significant improvements of the Laughter Yoga group in all areas, with positive changes of 100% occurring in a number of areas. It is particularly interesting to note the long-lasting effects of the laughter interventions.
Here is a brief summary of the BRY Study results: