Monday, March 24, 2014


A few fun health facts to ponder

After taking on a very serious topic in last week's column (see below), I feel compelled to write about something a little lighter this week — maybe even a little frivolous.

Here are some fun health facts, gleaned from various internet websites: 

•  It takes 10-15 minutes of laughter a day to burn up 50 calories.

•  Cockroaches can live for nine days after their head has been cut off.  (Source:

•  The most pushups ever performed in one day was 46,001 by Charles Servizio. (Source:

•  The chances of you dying on the way to get your lottery tickets are greater than your chances of winning. (Source:

•  A sneeze generates a wind of 100 miles/hour, and a cough is expelled at 60 miles/hour.

•  An adult produces about 25,000 quarts of saliva in a lifetime, enough to fill two swimming pools.

•  It is not possible to tickle yourself. The cerebellum, a part of the brain, warns the rest of the brain that you are about to tickle yourself. Since your brain knows this, it ignores the resulting sensation.

•  People have the tendency to chew the food on the side that they most often use their hand.

•  About 10% of the world’s population is left-handed. 

•  The average sperm cell swims at eight inches per hour.

•  Your pet isn't the only one in the house with a shedding problem. Humans shed about 600,000 particles of skin every hour. That works out to about 1.5 pounds each year, so the average person will lose around 105 pounds of skin by age 70. (Source:

•  Researchers have found that more than 2,000 different species of bacteria live in our belly button. (Source:

•  Our eyes are always the same size from birth, but our nose and ears never stop growing.

•  Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa has no eyebrows. It was the fashion in Renaissance Florence to shave them off.

•  There are as many hairs per square inch on your body as a chimpanzee. (source:

•  By age 60, 40% of women and 60% of men will snore. While snores average around 60 decibels, the noise level of normal speech, they can reach more than 80 decibels. Eighty decibels is as loud as the sound of a pneumatic drill breaking up concrete. (Source:

•  The brain operates on the same amount of power as 10-watt light bulb. (Source:

•  If you didn’t have valves in your body, when you stand up all the blood in your body would literally fall downward, filling your feet and legs up.  (Source:

•  You see your nose at all times, your brain just chooses to ignore it.

Researchers say adults laugh 15 times a day on average, but children laugh about 300 times a day. Hopefully, some of these fun health facts helped you meet your laugh quota for today.

Alice Facente is a community health nurse for the Backus Health System. This advice should not replace the advice of your personal healthcare provider. To comment on this column or others, visit the Healthy Living blog at or e-mail Ms. Facente or any of the Healthy Living columnists at

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