- The average American utters 80 to 90 curse words every day – that’s about five swears every hour.
- Swearing can have benefits from relieving stress or pain, to helping you bond with your coworkers.
- Cursing while working out may even give you an extra boost of energy.
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Following is a transcript of the video.
Narrator: Americans are cursing more today than ever before. In fact, the average American utters 80 to 90 curse words every day. That’s about five curse words every waking hour. And it might not be in vain. Turns out, swearing may help make you live a happier, healthier life in the long-run.
When you stub your toe and holler your favorite dirty, four-letter word, You’re actually doing yourself a favor. Swearing has been known to raise your heart rate, which can help reduce the pain. For example, one study found that people who held their hand in icy water while cursing lasted 50% longer than the people who used neutral words – like “wooden” and “flat.”
And if you’re still not convinced that you should curse more, consider this: Swearing could be the key to improving your workouts. Researchers asked people to curse while riding a stationary bike and holding a device that measured handgrip strength. Wouldn’t you know it, participants pedaled faster and gripped stronger while spewing their favorite expletives. And swearing won’t just help you get more fit, it can also reduce stress and anxiety.
For instance, one study found that swearing helped drivers better cope with their frustration on the road whenever a pedestrian illegally crossed the street. And in fact, this type of emotional relief is so common, it has a name: Lalochezia. Scientists think that this relief is one reason why we’ve evolved to curse in the first place.Because it’s a way for us to express strong emotions – like anger and frustration – without having to throw a punch or act out.
And this method – of choosing words over violence – has other benefits, too. Studies show that people who curse are perceived as more genuine and sincere. And researchers have found that people who can list the most swear words also come across as more honest when they’re measured on a lie scale.
But there’s still one place where cursing is almost always out of the question: Work. But you might have a good excuse to swear there too. Researchers studied a team of workers at a soap factory in New Zealand, and looked at the use of a particular swear word, we’ll call it “the f-word.”
Turns out that using “the f-word” helped the workers express politeness, alleviate tension, and bond with each other. So, we’re not saying you should curse out your boss, but a little swearing here and there can’t hurt, and sh-t, it may even help.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This video was originally published in December 2018.