Does chewing gum reduce stress?

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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For many people, repetitive movements are ways to relax themselves. In a recent study by Wrigley's Science Institute, forty persons were exposed to stress by having them perform on a multi-task platform known as Defined Instensity Simulation, a platform that allows accurate measures of stress. The participants were tested when they were chewing gum and when they were not; measurement of stress levels, anxiety levels, and alertness were made.  Conclusively, the study revealed that the participants were less stressed, axious, and more alert while chewing gum.  The gum chewers also had less cortisol in their saliva when they were chewing gum.  (Cortisol is a hormone released in times of stress.)  Although it is not exactly clear why the gum chewing relieved stress, it is possible that the act of chewing gum may activate certain biochemicals in the brain.

Interestingly, chewing gum has been found to increase long and short term memory, as well. Wrigley's Science Institute has conducted another recent study that has found that chewing gum increases one's ability to learn and remember.  A gum-chewing group who did math homework had a 3 percent increase in their standardized test score over the group who did not chew gum.

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giorgiana1976 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

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Chewing gum  banishes anxieties, increases alertness and reduces stress, according to a study made by Swiburne University in Australia.

Australian researchers have examined to what extent chewing gum may reduce stress induced and anxiety, while participants in the study were conducting a series of activities. Thus, use of chewing gum was associated with higher alertness, reduced anxiety and stress and improved performance in delivery of several activities at once.

The study was done on 40 people, with an average age of 22 years, which made various tests on a multi-tasking platform. The platform was designed to induce stress and, at the same time, assess performance of subjects while they have chewed gum or not. Levels of anxiety, attention and stress were measured before and after participants performed the tests.According to the results, level of anxiety was reduced by 17% in those who were chewing gum than the rest of the subjects. Also, the focus was 19 times higher in those who were chewing, while salivary cortisol levels - an indicator of this stress - was 16 percent lower in those who chewed gum during the test.

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