Researchers have found that swearing and using bad language can increase our physical strength. The researchers conducted tests on 81 people to see how swearing affected physical performance. In one test, participants did a workout on an exercise bike. Some people had to swear as much as they could before they started, while others had to be quiet. In another test, people had to grip the bike's handlebars as tightly as they could. The researchers found that the people who swore a lot, cycled or gripped three to four per cent more powerfully than those who were quiet.
Research also shows that swearing increases our tolerance to pain. A 2009 study found that swearing increased heart rate and adrenaline - these help to numb pain. This may be why many of us swear when we hurt ourselves. Another study found that swearing was a sign of honesty and self-expression. The lead researcher of the Keele study was at a loss to explain why swearing affects the body. He said: "Quite why it is that swearing has these effects on strength and pain tolerance remains to be discovered. We have yet to understand the power of swearing fully."