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New Study Shows Going to the Cinema is Equivalent to a Light Workout

Need a new excuse to skip the gym? This may be your answer.

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If you’re like me, you don’t need another excuse to skip the gym. But in this case, skipping the gym for a trip to the cinema could be just as beneficial as a light workout at the gym. A new study done by University College London and Vue Cinemas suggests that you can get the same mental benefits from going to the movie theater as the gym.

University College London and Vue Cinemas monitored skin reations and heart rates from 51 people who went to see Aladdin. These findings were then compared to 51 people who sat down to read a book for the same amount of time. Researchers then discovered the was a noticeable increase in the heart rate of the movie-goers than in the people reading. 

According to the study, the test subjects watching the movie were in a healthy heart rate zone (40-80% of its maximum rate) for 45 minutes. This heart rate is the equivalent of a light form of exercise. Beyond that, the study also found the test subject in the movie were more neuologically stimulated. 

Image via Pexels

University College London’s professor of cognitive neuroscience Joseph Devlin explains:

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.

The cinema is one for the last truely immersive spaces where adults can step away from their phones and devices. This extended, immersive, social and focused space can positively impact our brain and creativity. 

If you do want to get back into the gym, but feel overwhelmed by the thought, check out ways to make it less daunting here.

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