TOP TEN ‘CALORIE BURNING FRIGHTENERS’ REVEALED
According to new research, scaring yourself senseless with a terrifying horror movie can help burn calories.
Indulging in just 90 minutes of adrenaline pumping horror can burn up to 113 calories, the equivalent of a bar of chocolate, or close to the amount used up during a half hour walk.
LOVEFiLM – Europe’s largest subscription service instantly streaming films and TV series over the internet and sending DVDs and games by post – worked with a team of scientists at the University of Westminster to measure the calorie burning potential of some of the scariest horror movies of all time.
The study measured the total energy expenditure of ten case studies as they watched a selection of some of film’s most frightening movies – recording the heart rate, oxygen intake and carbon dioxide output of each individual.
The results revealed that on average, the number of calories used rose by at least a third whilst watching the frightening flicks, compared to at rest. The unavoidable twists and turns common to every good scary movie were evident in the heart rate patterns of the volunteers tested, with the average heart rate doubling over the course of 90 minutes.
According to the study, movies full of moments designed to make viewers jump, have the potential to use up even more calories. Sudden shocks or particularly terrifying moments prompted the petrified case studies to gasp, provoking an increase in the uptake of oxygen and causing heart rates to soar.
LOVEFiLM’s top ten ‘calorie burning frighteners’ 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 Chainsaw Massacre: 107 calories
10. [Rec]: 101 calories
Dr Richard Mackenzie, Senior Lecturer and specialist in cell metabolism and physiology at the University of Westminster, explained the findings:
“Each of the ten 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.”
Helen Cowley, Editor of LOVEFiLM, commented:
“We all know the feeling of wanting to hide behind the sofa or grab a pillow when watching scary or hair raising scenes, but this research suggests that maybe those seeking to burn some calories should keep their eyes on the screen. We think our calorie burning films are a great (and entertaining) alternative to the traditional diet, providing you don’t eat popcorn at the same time!
“Film fans can burn off a few extra calories with LOVEFiLM’s huge catalogue of adrenaline fuelled films available on DVD, Blu-ray or to stream instantly via LOVEFiLM Instant for as little as £4.99 per month.”