going to a movie theater counts as a light workout.
count me in.
If your New Year’s resolution is to exercise more, your goal just got a lot easier.
Sitting through a film at the cinema could be considered light exercise, according to researchers at the University College London (UCL), who found that movie-goers often experienced heart rate increases equal to about 40 minutes of low-impact cardio.
The trip to the movie theater makes all the difference, scientists believe. Whereas film fans are easily distracted while watching at home, the unbroken concentration involved in seeing a movie at the cinema is the key to their finding.
“Cultural experiences like going to the cinema provide opportunities to devote our undivided attention for sustained periods of time,” writes UCL neuroscientist Joseph Devlin in the report. “In the cinema, however, there is nothing else you can do except immerse yourself.”
This means a movie night could be good for our minds, too.
“Our ability to work through problems without distraction makes us better able to solve problems and be productive,” he says.
The study, paid for by UK-based Vue Cinemas, observed 51 participants as they watched the 2019 live-action remake of “Aladdin,” with sensors tracking their heart rates and skin reactions during the film. Their results were compared to a group of 26 others who spent that same amount of time reading.
A normal resting heart rate is between 60 and 100 beats per minute. The results showed that those who spent 40 minutes in a movie theater reached a “healthy heart zone,” with rates landing somewhere between 40% to 80% of its maximum rate — about 95 and 160 beats per minute for an average middle-aged adult. This level of heart activity could be compared to brisk walking or gardening, researchers say.
Study authors also noted that moviegoers’ heart beats began to synchronize during the film, which may contribute to “a positive effect on our overall social connectedness.”
“A shared social focus not only has a proven link to greater bonding and empathy with others,” they write, “but also has been proven to reduce symptoms of loneliness and depression.”
According to Devlin, this sort of prolonged concentration could be a boon to anyone, especially those who feel constantly distracted by smartphones, tablets and social media.
“In a world where it is increasingly difficult to step away from our devices, this level of sustained focus is good for us,” he writes.
‘cinema is a great binding force for a nation.’
credits: hannah sparks, ny post