Healthy living

Brits lose sense of humour at 52

Brits lose sense of humour at 52 The age we all turn into Victor Meldrews

There's not much to laugh about once you turn 52, according to a new study.

A poll of 2000 Britons found that adults have less to laugh about as they age, and 52 appears be the age when your average person starts to lose their sense of humour.

On average, adults laugh out loud four times a day, but by the time they reach 50 this falls to just three times a day and a pathetic 2.5 times a day when 60.

Dr Lesley Harbridge, from the University of Glamorgan, said: "The Lifetime of Laughter Scale shows that there really is a law of diminishing returns when it comes to laughter.

"We laugh twice as much in our teens as we do in our fifties. And our findings suggest that it's all downhill from 52."

The study also found that while an infant can laugh out loud as many as 300 times every day, by the time we reach our twenties, this figure has slumped to just four times a day.

Men were found to be more grumpier than women.

However, according to the findings, life gets a little happier when we are in our thirties as thirty somethings manage, on average, to laugh around five time every day. Perhaps children help us find our sense of humour again.

The survey, carried out for TV channel Dave, also found the "Victor Meldrew Syndrome" was firmly established by the time we hit 50, as this is the age we are most likely to complain.

Another finding hinted at what may contribute to our grumpiness as we age; the survey revealed the average Brit knows only two jokes.

This article was published on Fri 8 October 2010

Image © Yuri Arcurs -

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