Don’t like to exercise?
You may be able to fight fat with fright.
Watching 90 minutes of adrenaline-pumping terror could burn as much as 113 calories, according to a new study by the University of Westminster, reports The Telegraph.
That is close to the same amount as a half-hour walk and equivalent to a chocolate bar.
Scientists measured the energy of 10 different people as they watched various frightening films, all while recording their heart rate, oxygen intake and carbon dioxide output. The results indicated a number of calories used, especially in films featuring “moments designed to make viewers jump in terror,” causing heart rates to increase faster.
“As the pulse quickens and blood pumps around the body faster, the body experiences a surge in adrenaline,” said Dr. Richard Mackenzie, a senior lecturer and specialist in cell metabolism and physiology at the University of Westminster. “It is this release of fast acting adrenaline, produced during short bursts of intense stress (or in this case, brought on by fear), which is known to lower the appetite, increase the Basal Metabolic Rate and ultimately burn a higher level of calories.”
Helen Cowley, editor of the movie rental company LOVEFiLM, which also commissioned the study, states people should actually make an attempt to watch those pulse-raising scenes.
“We all know the feeling of wanting to hide behind the sofa or grab a pillow when watching scary or hair-raising scenes,” said Cowley. “But this research suggests that maybe those seeking to burn some calories should keep their eyes on the screen.”
According to the study, the top 10 calorie-burning horror films are:
1. The Shining: 184 calories
2. Jaws: 161 calories
3. The Exorcist: 158 calories
4. Alien: 152 calories
5. Saw: 133 calories
6. A Nightmare on Elm Street: 118 calories
7. Paranormal Activity: 111 calories
8. The Blair Witch Project: 105 calories
9. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre: 107 calories
10. [Rec]: 101 calories.