Talking Too Much or Excessive Talkativeness: Health Effects
Can too much talking or excessive talking undermine our health? Normal people, as one Western study found, breathe twice as much air when they speak. That reduces their brain CO2 and O2 stores. Long conversations and excessive talkativeness can thereby lead to dizziness, light-headedness, loss of concentration, emotional instability, muscular tension, abnormal posture and other negative effects.
Furthermore, even 10-20 minutes of continuous speaking resets the breathing center to lower arterial and brain CO2 levels promoting hyperventilation, tissue hypoxia and chronic diseases.
Measuring effects of excessive talking
A study conducted by the National Center for Neurogenic Communication Disorders and Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, The University of Arizona (Tucson, USA) entitled Influence of continuous speaking on ventilation revealed that the average ventilation increased from resting 7 l/min to almost 14 l/min during speeches (Hoit & Lohmeier, 2000). Average initial end-tidal CO2 pressure of these healthy young American men was almost 38 mm Hg. After 10 minutes of speaking it dropped to about 31 mm Hg.
A quick calculation shows that their average initial CP (body-oxygen test - see below) was about 29 s, after 10 min public speaking their average CP was correspondent to 14 s. Hence, 10 min of speaking reduced their brain oxygenation about two times. For most subjects even many minutes of recovery were not enough to completely restore initial CO2 and O2 levels.
Talkativeness promotes chronic diseases
Hence, excessive talkativeness or talking too much produces devastating health effects and promotes any chronic disease: cancer, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and many others. Furthermore, additional negative effects of modern speaking skills include mouth breathing (for inhalations) and thoracic breathing (using the upper chest). Both these factors further reduce oxygen delivery to body cells.
During lectures and public speeches, or when just talking too much, it is important not to take deep inhalations between phrases (Buteyko, 1969). Dr. Buteyko and about 180 Soviet medical doctors developed other ideas described on the web page Correct public speaking skills, as a part of the Buteyko breathing method that increases body oxygenation.
Questions. What can you say about breathing, emotions, and postures of these talking women? Is this picture typical for modern times?
Reference pages: Breathing norms and the DIY body oxygen test:
- Breathing norms: Parameters, graph, and description of the normal breathing pattern
- Body-oxygen test (CP test) : How to measure your own breathing and body oxygenation (two in one) using a simple DIY test
References: pages about CO2 effect:
- Vasodilation: CO2 expands arteries and arterioles facilitating perfusion (or blood supply) to all vital organs
- The Bohr effect: How and why oxygen is released by red blood cells in body tissues
- Nerve stabilization: Carbon dioxide has powerful calmative and sedative effects on brain neurons and nerve cells
Buteyko KP, Lecture in the Moscow State University, Soviet national journal Nauka i zshizn'; [Science and life], Moscow, issue 10, October 1977.
Hoit JD & Lohmeier HL, Influence of continuous speaking on ventilation, J Speech Lang Hear Res 2000 Oct; 43(5): 1240-1251.
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