According to a report from Keele University people who save up their swears for moments of extreme pain were more likely to gain benefits than those that use offensive language in their everyday chatter.

In bizarre pain experiments, test subjects were told to hold their hands in freezing iced water. The people who would normally swear around 60 times a day could only bear 120 seconds submerged whilst cursing, whereas those that kept their curses to a minimum could handle 140 seconds, fending off the pain by shouting words they wouldn’t normally use.

The research took place at the School of Psychology in Keele, Staffordshire. Authors of The Journal of Pain, Claudia Umland and Richard Stephens said “Swearing increased pain tolerance and heart rate compared with not swearing.

“Moreover, the higher the daily swearing frequency, the less was the benefit for pain tolerance when swearing, compared with when not swearing.

“The more often participants reported swearing in daily life, the less extra time they were able to hold their hand in ice cold water when they repeated a swear word, compared with when they repeated a non-swear word.”

The theory goes that the emotional response of swearing in a painful situation caused ‘stress-induced analgesia’ which is a natural form of pain relief accompanied by a surge of adrenalin.

“Our research suggests that swearing is a useful part of language that can help us express strong emotions or react to high pressure situations. However, it would be wise only to swear in moderation as overuse of swearing seems to water down this effect” said Dr Richard Stephens, a senior Psychology lecturer.

A lesson for the mild-mannered – next time you get your foot stomped in a crowd or slam a hammer into your thumb whilst doing the DIY, let out a few rude words – it’s good for you.