The Joker may have been a supervillian but that doesn’t mean he didn’t have a health advantage over his archenemy Batman. Telling jokes and laughing at other peoples’ funny stories is as crucial to maintaining our health as eating healthily, with doctors saying laughter can boost the immune system and ward off depression.
That’s the good news. The bad news is that here in Britain we’re not getting enough laughter in our daily social diet. While we prioritise healthy activities like walking, not eating junk food and going to the gym, we don’t pay enough attention to the health of our humour.
These are the findings of research commissioned by online bingo operator Jackpotjoy.com, which found that Brits are chuckling an average of only 7.2 times a day, while 15 times is the number of daily laughs needed to maintain a good sense of well-being.
And it’s all our own fault as we are naturally programmed to laugh a lot more. Research says pre-school children laugh between 300-400 times a day, but by the time they grow up they are laughing less than 15 times a day. British adults aren’t even managing half of that.
Two-thirds of people polled, or a staggering 66%, claimed they were in desperate need of more fun in their lives with lack of money (55%) and the spate of bad weather this summer (46%) cited as the main factors for the lack of fun and laughter. Other obstacles to having enough fun included work pressures (30%), family pressures (23%) and the end of the summer events (Jubilee and Olympics) and Bank Holidays (20%).
The statistics showed regional variations, with lads and lassies up north having the highest chuckle quota. Leeds is now officially the capital of laughter on 8.7 titters a day, followed by Plymouth at 8.6 and Newcastle at 8.5. People in Norwich have the biggest humour deficit as they laugh only 5.4 times a day, nearly three times less than the recommended daily dose. Folks in Brighton 6.1 and Glasgow 6.2 will also need to lighten up and let some laughter into their lives.
Since we can’t spend all our days and evenings down at the local comedy club, what can we do to inject more fun and humour into our daily lives? Well, Jackpotjoy has the answer to that, as the entertainment company has begun a campaign to get the nation laughing again.
A fund of £250,000 has been opened by the Jackpotjoy FUNdation which people around the country can apply to for a laughter grant. If the funny committee at Jackpotjoy like your idea for a stunt or trick which will make you and others laugh, they’ll give you the funds to carry out the task!
Do you have an idea that will cheer up the nation? If so, check out Jackpotjoy’s page on Twitter and Facebook. You could be laughing all the way to the bank.