Want to give the perfect hug? Scientists in the U.K. have done experiments to determine how to do it and based on their research, more is definitely more when it comes to hugs. For their study, a team of psychologists enlisted 103 pairs of friends to give some friendly squeezes and rate the hugs they received for both pleasure and arousal.
Based on those results, researchers find 10-second hugs promote the most pleasure, five seconds gives slightly less joy and as you might expect, a one-second hug brings the least happiness. As for the arousal factor, hugs where both people criss-cross their arms rate higher, but embraces where one person circles the waist while the other grasps the shoulders rate slightly higher for pleasure.
Researchers note that a height difference between the huggers makes little to no difference to the experience and they also point out that the waist-neck combo is more common with female-to-female and male-to-female hugs. So what makes the perfect hug? They conclude it should last from five to 10 seconds with criss-crossed arms. Their findings suggest hugs may briefly influence arousal, but that typically wears off around three minutes post-hug, however the pleasure experienced doesn’t change with time. As for when a hug becomes “too long,” the researchers say that’s a subject for another study.