HealthDay News — According to a study published in The Gerontologist, the combination of simulated laughter exercises with a moderate-intensity strength, balance and flexibility physical activity program proved to show improvements in health, physical performance and self-efficacy for exercise in older adults.
Celeste Greene, from Georgia State University in Atlanta, and colleagues used pre- and 6-week post-intervention comparisons within and between groups.
They examined the impact of combining simulated laughter exercises with a moderate-intensity strength, balance and flexibility physical activity program, LaughActive, in older adults residing in assisted living facilities. There were 27 older adults who participated in twice-weekly LaughActive classes.
The researchers observed significant improvements in mental health, aerobic endurance and self-efficacy for exercise.
“This pilot study demonstrated promising results and may spark more research to evaluate the potential of simulated laughter in conjunction with physical activity as a viable technique for enhancing the health and adherence outcomes of physical activity programs,” the authors write.
One author disclosed employment with LaughActive.
Greene CM, Morgan JC, Traywick LS, Mingo CA. Evaluation of a Laughter-based Exercise Program on Health and Self-efficacy for Exercise. Gerontologist. 2016 August 4. doi: 10.1093/geront/gnw105. [Epub ahead of print]