In the first test, 29 volunteers carried out an exercise bike test where they pedalled as hard as possible for 30 seconds, once after swearing and once after saying a ‘neutral’ word.
In a second test, 52 participants squeezed a handgrip as hard as they could, after both swearing and saying a neutral word. In both tests, the order in which participants swore or said the neutral word was randomised.
The results showed that the participants produced around 24 watts more pedal power when they swore – an increase of around 4.8 per cent. The second test found grip strength increased by 8.2 per cent when people swore – meaning they could lift around 2.1kg more on average.