Watching scary movies can help you burn the calories equivalent of a small chocolate bar, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Westminster. Those who watched a 90-minute horror film were likely to burn up to 113 calories – the same sort of figure as a half-hour walk. Some movies were more effective than others, however: of the 10 films studied, the top calorie-burners 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
The study found that films with regular “jump-scare” moments were most likely to help burn calories because they increased the heart rate dramatically. “Each of the 10 films tested set pulses racing, sparking an increase in the heart rate of the case studies. 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 is known to lower the appetite, increase the basal metabolic rate and ultimately burn a higher level of calories.