London, Nov 16 : Couples who hug and kiss more often or become physically intimate are less likely to be stressed, especially if they are married.
A week-long study of 51 double income German couples (mostly married) by Zurich University found that touchy feely pairs, who did everything from holding hands to having sex, had lower levels of stress hormone cortisol in their saliva.
The body secretes more cortisol during its fight or flight response and is at the root of stress-related bodily changes.
The study found that couples experiencing more work-related problems had the lowest levels of cortisol through such displays of affection and intimacy, according to online reports.
Beate Ditzen of Zurich University, who conducted the research, informed that intimacy perked up moods that tended to improve hormone levels.
But she cautioned couples not to compete in expressing such intimacy, but involve themselves in tasks that nurture togetherness in both partners.
The finding appeared in Psychosomatic Medicine.