The study has 51 participants wear biometric sensors while watching the new remake of Aladdin, and the sensors measured heart rate and body temperature.
The researchers also had another 26 participants wear biometric sensors while reading a book for the same length of time as the movie.
The study found that those reading experienced very little biometric changes, but those watching the film actually had increased heart rates and spent around 45 minutes in the ‘healthy heart zone’, which can build cardio fitness levels and burn fat.
Now, if you really want to increase the health benefits of seeing a movie at the cinema, you should watch a horror movie.
A study done by the University of Westminster in the UK found that when participants watched frightening films, their bodies release adrenalin which can trigger the nervous system’s flight or fight response.
The researchers hypothesise that when this response is triggered the body starts burning fat stores for energy while also releasing blood sugar. It also forces your body to increase your metabolism, which helps your body burn sugar without the need for oxygen. The result is more calories burnt, and your mood is markedly better. In fact, the results indicate that if you watch a truly terrifying film, you’ll burn the same amount of calories as you would on a 30 minute walk.
Now, pass the popcorn, I’ve got a cardio session planned with my good friend, Netflix.