Performing swearing in sports can increase strength and self-confidence

True, this sounds a bit like an April Fool’s joke. But one study actually found that swearing has positive effects on us. Especially when it comes to sports, we are driven to push ourselves to our physical limits. But it can also help us in everyday life, according to the study researchers.

Insults are rejected. Anyone who swears has no good self-control or at least bad manners. And so in our society, which values ​​self-control and self-improvement, we hear few bad words. Now a study has proven that swearing can also be beneficial – even in sports. British researchers from Keele University in Staffordshire studied the effects of swearing on physical performance.1

Examination of the effect of insults in three experiments

The scientists not only wanted to know whether sectioning had a positive effect on performance and willingness to take risks, but also what the underlying mechanisms were. For example, 56 students from Keele University were recruited to study. 24 of them are male and 32 are female.

For the study, subjects had to participate in three experiments:

  1. First, the students’ grip strength was measured. They were asked to utter an expletive like “fuck” for ten seconds before their fist strength was measured with a device. For comparison, the same experiment was performed using a neutral word to describe a table.
  2. On the second attempt, they had to inflate ten balloons at a time with the push of a button. Students get 0.25 points for each balloon inflation. The more they inflated the balloons without exploding, the more points they collected, which were subsequently paid out in cash. If a balloon bursts before the “Collect Money” button is pressed, the points collected and therefore the money are lost.
  3. In the third experiment, physical strength was measured. To do this, the students were asked to perform a chair press by placing their hands on the bench. Here, too, an expletive must first be pronounced for ten seconds. For comparison, the experiment was also conducted with a neutral word.

Also interesting: the typical mistakes many people make when doing push-ups

Swearing increases performance and willingness to take risks

When evaluating the data, the researchers found strong effects of swearing in all three experiments. Not only did the swearing people have a stronger grip, they were more willing to take risks and pump more air into the balloons. Risk-taking behavior increased by eight percent when an expletive was pronounced before the balloon was inflated compared to a neutral word. The students also lasted longer in push-ups on the chair if they had been reprimanded beforehand. So it turns out that swearing can be a way to get the most out of yourself in everyday life or in sports.

Also interesting: Grip strength training – exercises for strong hands and forearms

Possible reasons for the alliance’s positive impact

“Swearing appears to induce a state of ‘warm cognition,’ which helps us reduce everyday fears and fears. This can lead to benefits in some situations, such as physical strength, which our participants demonstrated being able to hold the chair push-up for longer. After cursing,” explains lead study author Dr. Richard Stevens.

Tip: Take insults with humor

The funny aspect of swearing also plays an important role. It is a psychological way to increase physical strength. Dr. says. . Stephens.

For example, comedians have long known the connection between laughter and a correctly placed swear word and its use in their performances, the scientist claims. It can also help us in everyday life. Just throw an expletive so we can push the line a bit more. It’s also perfectly okay to swear when you bump into something or hurt yourself. This relief allows us to better deal with the pain. Sometimes you are amazed at what escaped your mouth. If you can laugh at yourself, it’s a very positive effect that allows us to let go.


Leave a Comment