Laughing at your favourite comedies can help you lose weight, according to new research.

The new study into the effects of laughter on the human body suggests that you can lose 1-2lb a month without leaving the comfort of your sofa.

The research team compared the amount of calories burnt by laughing to the energy expended by other activities including vacuuming, running and weightlifting.

The results reveal that an hour’s worth of laughter can burn up to 100-120 calories and boost energy expenditure by up to 20 per cent – the equivalent of vacuuming for 40 minutes, walking for 15-20 minutes or doing 18-27 minutes of weightlifting.

The study has been incorporated into the GOLD Daily Laughter Diet, which works out the number of minutes of laughter needed to balance out calories.

Dr. Helen Pilcher said: “Laughing away excess Christmas weight is a great way to get into shape in 2009, and I can’t think of a better way to shed the pounds then by sitting in front of my favourite sitcoms. Laughter is a valuable way to lose weight and will have even more of an effect when combined with regular exercise.”

The G.O.L.D. Daily Laughter Diet Plan and research was commissioned by the digital channel G.O.L.D. to mark their January Extravaganza Bonanza, where double episodes of the nations’ favourite comedies are screened every night at 9pm.

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