Does watching comedy videos reduce post-surgical pain?

Watching videos that you enjoy can make you smile, laugh, or even relieve your stress for a short time. But do you know that watching funny videos can actually be helpful to people who recently had a surgery? A study published in the journal Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice revealed that watching videos can help reduce pain felt by patients after surgery.

Researchers from Marmara University Institute of Health Sciences and Ataturk University Faculty of Health Science in Turkey examined how watching videos, funny or not, can help reduce pain by people who underwent surgery.

In the study, they enrolled 90 patients who were then divided into three groups. One group watched funny videos, another group watched unfunny videos, and the third group did not watch any videos. The researchers measured the pain levels of the patients before, right after, and 30 minutes after watching the videos.

Based on the results, patients who watched videos, both funny and unfunny, experienced lesser pain than those who did not watch any videos. These findings suggest that watching videos that you enjoy can reduce pain.

The researchers concluded that watching videos can reduce pain felt after a surgery. This is an easy and economical way to relieve pain without using drug pain relievers.

Watching funny videos can boost productivity

Who would have thought that watching videos is helpful to most people? Watching videos, such as those funny animal videos, can increase one’s productivity at work. Research published in the Journal of Business and Psychology revealed that people who watched a funny video clip worked twice as long on a boring task than those who watched neutral or positive, but not funny, videos.

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The researchers, who were from the University of New South Wales in Australia, said that humor may have a beneficial effect on important behaviors in the workplace and that getting exposed to humor may enhance the efficiency of employees. (Related: Don’t Take Life Too Seriously – A Healthy Sense of Humor May Prolong Your Life.)

They conducted the study in order to determine whether humor may offer a “mental break” from stressful situations. This may prevent work-related mental decline and replenish mental resources, which, in the long run, may enable people to work longer on difficult tasks.

In the study, they recruited 74 students to participate in the study. The participants performed a mentally-draining task wherein they had to cross out every occurrence of the letter “e” in a two-page text. Then, they were randomly assigned to watch a video clip that was humorous, satisfying, or evoked neutral emotions. Right after watching the videos, the participants reported their emotions using a standard seven-point scale of 16 discrete emotions. Then, they worked on a persistence task wherein they played an unwinnable game in a computer program. They were allowed to give up the task at any time.

Results revealed that those who watched a funny video clip performed better and spent more time working on the task compared to the other two groups.

“Although humor has been found to help relieve stress and facilitate social relationships, the traditional view of task performance implies that individuals must concentrate all their effort on their endeavors and should avoid things such as humor that may distract them from the accomplishment of task goals,”  explained David Cheng and Lu Wang, researchers of the study.

Based on the findings of the study, the researchers concluded that watching funny videos is not only enjoyable but also replenishing. Just keep in mind to take a “humor break” in moderation, or else you will end up doing nothing at all.

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