Wednesday, June 23, 2010

On Laughter

Earlier this month, I read the book, "The Happiness Project" by Gretchen Rubin. Towards the end, I read a surprising statistic:

A small child typically laughs more than four hundred times a each day, and an adult - seventeen times.

I read that and thought - really? I spend quite a bit of time around my nephews so I know kids are more prone to fits of laughter and giggles - but 400 times a day? Let's say the average small child is awake for 14 hours - that means they are laughing just over 28 times per hour. So every 2 minutes. Really?

Then there's the adult part of the statistic. Do I laugh 17 times a day? Honestly, on a typical day, I don't. I consider myself a happy, content person, but unless I am around friends and family, I don't laugh all that often. I guess I am just not a "laugher".

But you know is? The girl that sits next to me at work. I've started to refer to her as 'the giggle box'. She actually might laugh 400 times a day. She's a great co-worker who is always willing to answer my questions, but I have to admit - there are days when I am thankful that I can put on my head phones, turn up my iPod and zone everyone out...

What about you? Do you think you laugh 17 times a day?

21 comments:

Charbelle said...

Some days I might, but quietly at my desk when I've found a particularly entertaining blog post!

J said...

I must laugh more than 17 times a day! Maybe I should count today and see!

Miss Anthrope said...

Hm. I'm gonna have to count, I think-- I know I've already laughed 3 times and I've only been up for 1/2 hour! :)

Lisa-Marie said...

I think that's right(for the children). I think I laugh more than 17 times a day, but then I do work with children, and my husband is quite funny.

I do think grown ups get bogged down with life and don't spend enough time enjoying it.

Kyla Roma said...

I think I probably laugh a little more than that, but I think I have identified the source of the discrepancy.

For me it's definitely paperwork!! lol :)

Abby said...

Wow, 17! And the 400 times about the children is amazing. Kids are funny.

Unfortunately, I don't think I laugh 17 times a day. And I, too, consider myself a happy and content person.

However when I really think about it, it makes sense. The biggest portion of my day is spent alone either reading a nursing school text book or writing a paper, or sitting through a lecture. There is clearly nothing comical about that.

Becky said...

What an interesting statistic! I think I'm going to try to keep a count today!

Mandy said...

I do laugh a lot but mostly quietly and discretely. I love the wild abandon of kids laughs. It really is infectious. I definitely need to read that book!

Nora said...

No, I don't think I laugh 17 times a day. That's kind of depressing. I consider myself a happy person (95% of the time anyway) but I dont have occasion to laugh that much. Co workers aren't so funny, but maybe I'll try to find something that is funny so that I can laugh more =)

Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks said...

How on earth are they defining laughter? I mean, if it's marginally funny and I say HA, does that count for 1 ... but, if I find it hilarious and say HA HA HA HA HA, then does that count for 5 or just 1? I want to see the methodology behind this study ... because laughing 17 times a day is A LOT.

B and B said...

I always wonder how they arrive at those types of statistics. When I was teaching, I laughed more than seventeen times most days. This morning, however, I have laughed only once. But that does not mean I am unhappy. Does a smile count?

Amber (Girl with the red hair) said...

Hehe I just giggled reading this blog post!!

I would say that I laugh close to 17 times per day depending on what I'm doing. I will often laugh a few times at work and then at home watching TV or reading blogs. When Eric is around I laugh WAY more because he's always saying hilarious things and being a goof. Haha.

That is amazing how often a child laughs, though!

Leigh said...

I'm not sure if I laugh that much...depends on the mood in the office that day. Some days we are super silly and joke around lots, other days we are all busy and down to work.

The best laughter is the one that makes your belly hurt from laughing so hard :)

Gracie (Complicated Day) said...

I laugh a lot during the day, but that's just because I laugh at my own jokes a lot.

Rachel @ MWF Seeking BFF said...

I love this stat. It reminds me that I need to laugh! I think I probably do laugh seventeen times a day... thats not all that much is it? Now i want to keep track, though I imagine I i already laughed this morning while in the car with my husband....

Emily Jane said...

Wow that's a crazy statistic! I don't know if I laugh 17 times a day - I'll have to start counting, but it's a great reminder to stop being so serious about everything and just enjoy things :)

Sassy Molassy said...

I think I probably laugh 17 times a day at least. Especially, since dating the manfriend. Seriously, he cracks me up like all the time. Ok and kind of random...I woke up in the middle of the night a few days ago laughing about the dream I was having. It was kind of weird/funny.

But in all honesty, we adults should be a little closer to 400 than zero. Let's work on that! I know I take myself faaar too seriously at times.

Cherry Blossoms said...

Kids are so amazing. I maybe smile 17x a day especially when I am at work but not sure on the laughing. I can't wait to read this book.

Kelly said...

I don't think kids laugh once every 2 minutes, but my guess would be that they make up for that by laughing 25-30 times in 2 minutes when they are being particularly silly, watching something funny, etc. So I can somewhat believe that stat.

On the other hand I would guess I laugh more than 17 times a day, but I am not the average adult because I work with those 400 a day laughing kids and let's face it, they are amusing. Also, Eric makes me laugh on average 20 times per day, he is pretty hilarious. I enjoy laughing, though hopefully I'm not as annoying as the girl who works next to you!

Oh said...

I never thought of counting how many times I laugh, but I just might, just for a day, just to see. When I laugh at work, I am always embarassed momentarily afterward because there just is NOT a lot of laughing there, and if you do laugh, it kinda sticks out. Crazy, huh? But at home, there's plenty to laugh about it seems, from the senior beagle who still does cute things to my hubs who always goes for the laugh when we're at the table and I do, i laugh and the kids are like "really? really, Mom, he's funny?"
Seventeen times? I dunno.
Will have to report back.

Now wondering about reading the HAPPINESS PROJECT. Probably a good idea.

Ally said...

That sounds like a LOT of laughing to me. But I'm having the same question as Nilsa -- how much does a series of HAs count for?

I do laugh an awful lot with my husband, but if what they are counting are isolated incidents then I don't think I'm getting to 17 with any regularity.