It turns out that watching horror movies helps you burns calories. But it’s not enough calories to offset a giant bowl of butter-drenched popcorn, so this news isn’t nearly as good as it seems on the surface.
A study conducted by researchers at the University of Westminster found that the increased heart rate that results from watching a horror movie will burn approximately the same amount of calories as a half-hour walk,which also happens to be less than what’s in a normal-sized bar of chocolate.
University of Westminster’s Dr. Richard Mackenzie explains the science behind the discovery:
“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.”
The average number of calories burned by watching a 90-minute horror movie is 113, but the study found that some movies, particularly those with regular “jump-scare” moments, result in a substantially larger loss. According to the study, here are the top 10 horror movies for feeling the burn:
The Shining: 184 calories
Jaws: 161 calories
The Exorcist: 158 calories
Alien: 152 calories
Saw: 133 calories
A Nightmare on Elm Street: 118 calories
Paranormal Activity: 111 calories
The Blair Witch Project: 105 calories
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre: 107 calories
[Rec]: 101 calories
Forget about the gym! Just treat yourself to a “Shining-Jaws-The Exorcist-Alien” quadruple feature. But don’t forget the popcorn. That’d just be wrong.
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This article originally published at The Mary Sue