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Successful hug: What the science says

Successful hug: What the science says

Social distancing entails that the moment is undoubtedly poorly chosen but what matters: a team of British psychologists are interested in the best way to hug, the famous “hug”. Duration, position of the arms … We tell you all about the art of successful hugging.

Since the beginning of the health crisis and the adoption of social distancing measures, our sense of touch has seriously weakened. But even if the end of the crisis does not seem imminent, that should not prevent us from thinking about the consequences, in this moment, once again, when we will be able to embrace each other without fear, between near and less close.

But what is a successful “hug”? Should it be brief or should it at least last? Should we prefer a certain position of the arms so that a hug brings all its benefits in terms of physical and mental health? Psychological researchers at the University of London researched this topic. It worked in two phases: the first in the laboratory, with an exclusive workforce. Then in real life, with about 200 students.

pose “cross”

In the lab, about fifty young women, blindfolded, received two types of “hugs” from the researcher: one in the “cross” position (each woman places one arm on her partner’s shoulder. The other under the latter’s arm). The second, the arms around the other person, as if “slow”. All those hugs were released for 1, 5 or 10 seconds. The shortest “hugs” were judged the least enjoyable by the participants.

For the rest of the experiment in real life, the researchers did not give any particular instructions and allowed hundreds of “couples” to cuddle with each other. Result: The ‘crossed’ mode is the one that participants adopt spontaneously, regardless of their emotional closeness (66%). It was even particularly popular with male couples (82%). Researchers hypothesis: This hugging method can translate closeness without adding any romantic connotations.

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In short, if we are to believe this study, the ideal hug should be done in the “intersection” position and last between 5 and 10 seconds. A technique to consider while waiting to be able to implement it after the final lifting of social distancing measures.