CBS Local– If you’ve ever spent time observing an adult sporting event, you’ve likely to have heard a cornucopia of curse words. Well, this foul language may help benefit those athletes. According to a study conducted by psychologists at the University of Keele, in England, cursing makes you stronger and builds stamina, via Independent.

The study ran tests on participants who were divided into two groups. One group was told to swear before and during physical exertion, such as a bike machine or squeezing a hand strength measuring device. The other group was only allowed to use “neutral” words. The group who were able to spew curses scored higher on both the exercises.

“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,” said Dr. Richard Stephens, a researcher on this study. “If that is the reason, we would expect swearing to make people stronger too, and that is just what we found in these experiments.”

The researchers still don’t know why this happens.

“Quite why it is that swearing has these effects on strength and pain tolerance remains to be discovered. We have yet to understand the power of swearing fully,” said Stephens.  “It doesn’t seem to be related to autonomic (fight or flight) arousal. We have some suggestions about what might be behind this effect which will need further research.”

One hypothesis is that, maybe, the emotional curse words serve as a form of an emotional distraction.

“It could be that it involves the pain relief effect we registered before,” said Stephens. “Pain perception and pain relief are quite complex things. Swear words have a distracting effect. If you’re asked to squeeze a hand gripper as hard as you can there’s a certain amount of discomfort, and it could be that this is reduced by being distracted.”


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