If You Talk Too Much; 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
of 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
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?
Buteyko KP, Lecture in the Moscow State University, Soviet
national journal Nauka i zshizn'; [Science and life], Moscow, issue 10,
Hoit JD & Lohmeier HL, Influence of continuous speaking on ventilation, J
Speech Lang Hear Res 2000 Oct; 43(5): 1240-1251.
You can leave your feedback and comments below. Thanks.
* Illustrations by Victor Lunn-Rockliffe