What is the ideal length of a hug? Science has the answer

Hugs are important. But you still have to know how to do them.

Without going as far as sexual intercourse (we see you coming), hugging plays an important role in our social and emotional construction. In children, then in adults, the physical contact generated by cuddling not only allows fight against stress and moments of depression, but also to release a large number of oxytocins, endorphins and dopamines, also called hormones of happiness.

Yes, but there you have it, you still have to know how to give a good hug. To answer this thorny subject, British researchers at the University of London have looked into the question. Published in the journal Acta Psychologica in November, the answer has the merit of being clear: the longer it is, the better it is. While a simple one-second hug was seen as the least pleasant, the 5-10 second hug was the most beneficial. But the whole point of a hug would actually result in the aftermath: the feeling of well-being and security generated by a good hug would indeed be stronger in the event of prolonged contact, and would last up to three minutes afterwards. the embrace.

Where to put your arms?

Another crucial point for making good hugs: the position. On this point, however, the scientists are less categorical, since according to the results of the study, conducted blind on a panel of 206 people, the position of the arms and shoulders (crossed or in the back) would not have no influence on the emotions felt. Time is therefore the best ingredient in the recipe for a good hug.

We avoid the trees

Another conclusion, this time more surprising from scientists: if hugs are beneficial for health, the study recommends against following the trend by hugging trees. Practicing sylvotherapy could indeed have harmful effects on health, in particular by causing itching all over the body, reports Christophe Bourget, researcher at the EFNO Forest Ecosystems laboratory of IRSTEA at the microphone of Science and the Future.

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