Search icon

Fitness & Health

19th Jan 2020

Study shows going to the cinema is the equivalent of a ‘light’ workout

Olivia Hayes

The Greatest Showman screening

A workout? In the cinema? Tell us more…

We all love going to the cinema. You’re (most of the time) going to see a film that you really enjoy, you get to sit back in comfy seats for a few hours and you get popcorn. Bliss.

However, what’s even more blissful is finding out that some experts regard going to the cinema as a ‘light’ workout.

Yes, we’re intrigued, too.

The research was conducted in University College London and involved Vue Cinemas. The study saw the researchers tracking 51 people who went to watch Aladdin and they monitored their skin reactions and heart rates.

At the same time, they simply monitored the same elements in 51 people sitting down to read a book.

The researchers said that there was a “noticeable increase” in the heart rate of the people in the cinema as opposed to those reading a book.

The people viewing Aladdin were said to be in a healthy heart-zone (40%-80% of its maximum rate) for 45 minutes which is the equivalent of a “light form of cardio,” said the scientists.

Now, we’re not saying it’s the same as blasting it out on the treadmill for 45 minutes but think of it as going for a walk or doing some gardening (because we do loads of gardening…).

As well as this, going to the cinema was also more stimulating and therefore healthier for your brain.

According to Tyla, University College London’s professor of cognitive neuroscience Joseph Devlin said: “Cultural experiences like going to the cinema provide opportunities for our brain to devote our undivided attention for sustained periods of time.

“At the cinema specifically, there is nothing else to do except immerse yourself. Our ability to sustain focus and attention plays a critical role in building our mental resilience, because problem-solving typically requires a concentrated effort to overcome obstacles.”

LISTEN: You Must Be Jokin’ with Aideen McQueen – Faith healers, Coolock craic and Gigging as Gaeilge