Experts: Swearing can make us more powerful

USA TODAY - Rarely do we hear about the benefits of ponying up to the swear jar. But researchers found a potty mouth can make us more physically stronger.

The British Psychology Society released data of two experiments on Thursday that display the power of profanity.

In the first, 29 people completed an intense bicycle exercise after swearing and not swearing. Another 52 people completed a grip test after both swearing and not swearing.

Those who swore in the first experiment produced more power. Those who cursed in the second test displayed a stronger hand grip, leading researchers to their find.

"We know from our earlier research that swearing makes people more able to tolerate pain," said Dr. Richard Stephens from Keele University, who led the research team. "A possible reason for this is that it stimulates the body's sympathetic nervous system — that's the system that makes your heart pound when you are in danger."

However, Stephens said, the team isn't sure the swearing is the cause of the strength. Other measurements they expected would be affected by the sympathetic nervous system did not show significant changes.

"So quite why it is that swearing has these effects on strength and pain tolerance remains to be discovered," Stepens said. "We have yet to understand the power of swearing fully."

Follow Sean Rossman on Twitter: @SeanRossman

Copyright 2017 USA TODAY


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