Scare Off Nearly 200 Calories

10/31/2012

Scary-movie
You don’t have to sweat on the Stairmaster to burn calories. According to a recent study, watching an average 90-minute horror movie can burn up to 113 calories, simply from the physiological effects of being scared.

Researchers from the University of Westminster measured the amount of calories expended in 10 people as they watched a range of horror movies. They checked heart rates, oxygen intakes, and carbon dioxide outputs to find that participants burned 1/3 more calories when watching scary films.

It turns out, as movies build up the suspense, participants’ heart rates spiked, pumping more blood to the body and increasing adrenaline levels. Extra adrenaline in your body can lower your appetite, boost your metabolism, and even help you burn calories. This may be why the “scarier” the film, the more calories participants seemed to burn. According to the study, these were the 10 films that burned the most calories:

  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
  7. Paranormal Activity: 111
  8. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: 107
  9. The Blair Witch Project: 105
  10. [Rec]: 101

So consider cuddling up with a frightening flick. Watching scary movies may not replace regular exercise, but it may help burn off a few pieces of leftover Halloween candy!

More on Holidays:

Solve the Annual Candy Crisis

Prevent Scary Meltdowns from Your Kids

11 Dental Tips for Holidays


The Discovery Fit and Health team brings you the latest (and most interesting) health news as well as exclusive interviews, video clips, and other juicy tidbits from your favorite shows.
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