The Effect of a Big Smile

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In psychology, a genuine smile is called a “Duchenne smile.” It was named after the French neurologist Guillaume Duchenne, who first discovered it. It is a smile that utilizes the muscles of the mouth, raises the cheeks and the muscles around the eyes that are difficult to move. In simple terms, it can be called a hearty smile.

In 2010, researchers led by Professor Ernest Abel at Wayne State University in the U.S. conducted a study on 230 baseball players to find out a relationship between facial expressions in photographs and lifespan. The players were grouped into three categories according to their smiles, and their actual lifespans were compared. The players were rated as “no smile” if they were just deadpan; as “partial smile” if only the muscles around the mouth were involved in their grin; or as “full smile” if the mouth and eyes were smiling and the cheeks were both raised.

The results of the study from the statistics such as the players’ body mass index, year of birth, and marital status, were surprising. Those in the no-smile category lived for an average of 72.9 years, those with partial smiles died at age 75, while the full-smile players lived to the age of 79.9 on average, the study showed.

How many times have you worn a big happy smile today? Do not spare smiles that bring good health and happiness, but wear broader smiles.