Health & Fitness

Going To A Movie Is As Good As A Light Cardio Workout, Study Says

Does it count if we have popcorn?

By Sukriti Wahi
If you've found your usual spin session or treadmill run a little boring of late, allow us to introduce an intriguing new alternative: going to the movies.
That's right, a new study has recently discovered that watching a movie at the cinema actually has the same heart health benefits as a "light form of cardio".
To determine these findings, researchers at the University College in London fitted a group of 51 participants with biometric sensors (which measure heart rate and body temperature) while they watched the two-hour-long live-action remake of Aladdin. The researchers asked another group of 26 participants to read a book for the same length of time.
Interestingly, while the reading group didn't appear to experience any changes, the researchers found a "noticeable increase" in the Aladdin audience's heart rates, determining that they spent approximately 45 minutes in the "healthy heart zone". They described this as "equivalent to a light form of cardio" that "can help to build cardio fitness levels and burn fat."
Bzebpz5rnyBb2.gifPowered by GIPHY
While we're not suggesting you cancel your gym membership to pursue cinema-based 'sweat' sessions, taking a day off from a workout now and then to check out a new movie might not be a bad idea for your overall health. Per the findings, 55% of the viewers felt watching the movie had a therapeutic, uplifting effect on their mind.
"Cultural experiences like going to the cinema provide opportunities for our brain to devote our undivided attention for sustained periods of time. At the cinema specifically, there is nothing else to do except immerse yourself," Dr. Joseph Devlin, professor of cognitive neuroscience at UCL, explained.
"Our ability to sustain focus and attention plays a critical role in building our mental resilience, because problem-solving typically requires a concentrated effort to overcome obstacles."
Of course, it should be noted that movie selection may have a role to play in exactly how much your heart rate increases (surely a horror movie would be like a HIIT session?).
Either way? We're sold.
  • undefined: Sukriti Wahi