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Why do people watch comedies?

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Quick Answer

Oxford Dictionaries defines comedy as professional entertainment that is meant to make audiences laugh. According to WebMD, scientific research has shown that laughter has significant health benefits. One study showed that the laughter a group of people experienced when watching a comedy helped lower blood sugar levels.

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Full Answer

WebMD states that while studies do not show concrete evidence that the act of laughter alone leads to improved health, they have shown that laughter has particular physiological effects on the body that can be beneficial. Researchers suspect that social support, positive attitudes and a sense of humor are all beneficial and play a role in the health benefits associated with laughter.

WebMD lists a number of physiological benefits to laughter, some of which resemble the advantageous effects of exercise. When a person laughs, she stretches numerous muscles, her breathing gets faster and more oxygen goes to her tissues. Her blood pressure, pulse and respiratory rate also increase. Laughter burns calories at a rate of 50 calories every 10 to 15 minutes.

A study by Robert R. Provine, professor of psychology and neuroscience at University of Maryland, showed that the blood vessels in people who watched a drama were tense and restricted blood flow, while the blood cells of people who watched a comedy functioned in a healthy manner, as reported by WebMD. Watching comedies and laughing can also help with relaxation and sleep and help sick people feel better.

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