Turns out watching adrenaline-pumping horror films can burn up calories, which could help you lose weight as long as you don’t pair the film with buttered popcorn. In a study commissioned by website lovefilm.com, researchers from the University of Westminster in the UK had subjects watch a variety of horror films while taking measurements of their heart rate, oxygen intake, carbon dioxide output and calories burned.
“Each of the ten films tested set pulses racing, sparking an increase in the heart rate of the case studies,” cell metabolism specialist Richard Mackenzie explained. “As the pulse quickens and blood pumps around the body faster, the body experiences a surge in adrenaline. It is this release of fast-acting adrenaline, produced during short bursts of intense stress (or in this case, brought on by fear), which lowers appetite, increases the basal metabolic rate and burns a higher level of calories,” adds Mackenzie.
In the study, the top 10 calorie-burning horror films were:
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