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Can Swearing Help With Your Physical Strength?

Dorathy Gass

Good news for all those potty mouths out there! A study coming out of the UK reveals that swearing can actually help with physical strength.

Researchers have always been fascinated by cursing, with a 2009 study revealing that swearing enhanced an individual’s tolerance to pain. Another study conducted in 2011 revealed that cursing could enhance individual’s’ tolerance to the cold. What’s the reason behind all this?

The base of the theory is that when a person swears, they trigger a feeling of ‘fight or flight’ which thus decreases their pain sensation.

Now onto strength. In the recently launched study, the team focused on swearing during physical exertion.

The study was a two-parter where the team took 29 individuals, about 21 years of age on average, and placed them in an intense bout of physical activity while exercising on a stationary bike. Individuals were asked to go through two sessions; in the first, they were told to say a swear word out loud repeatedly, while in another session on the bike they were told to say another neutral word on and on out loud.

Part two of the study had 52 individuals, around the ages of 19 on average, carry out a test with isometric handgrips. Each person did the experiment three times the first swearing go-around where they were asked to repeat a swear word during the three-time session and another three-part session where they told to repeat a neutral word.

Medical News Today advised that once the numbers were collected it was revealed that swearing assisted the individuals and produced more endurance during the bike session and a stronger grip for the other.
When it came to cycling, power was enhanced by 24 watts, without a need by participants to increase exertion. With the handgrip, enhanced strength was seen generally by 2.1 kg.
Interestingly enough, these results also support conclusions from past research launched by the same team.

While the results are surprising, more research is needed. The team could not determine the ‘whys’ around strengthen and swearing, just that swearing could enhance strength.
Maybe these results will eliminate the ‘swear jar’ system that plagues houses all over North America. While these words are certainly not polite or appropriate, they seem to make people feel and act more powerful!

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