Seeing Movies in Theaters is Exercise Now, According to Science

Seeing Movies in Theaters is Exercise Now, According to Science

Time to hit the gym — er, your nearest local movie theater. According to science, those two are basically the same, as a new study says that going to the movies “could be as good for your health as a ‘light form of cardio’ exercise.” Now you’ve solved how to get going on those New Year’s resolutions.

The Times reported on a study conducted by University College London scientists, who discovered that a trip to the movie theater could be as good for your health as a “light form of cardio” exercise. What is light cardio exactly? That would be equivalent to a brisk walk. So it’s not the same as hitting the gym, but apparently seeing a movie at the theater has other health benefits. The scientists moviegoing could “provide a boost for your heart and benefit memory and concentration.”

But the scientists draw a line between seeing a film at home and seeing it at the theater — there are fewer distractions at the theater, allowing your brain to devote a rare period of “undivided attention” to what is happening on screen.

The study was conducted with 51 moviegoers who went to see Aladdin of all things. But there’s probably a difference between U.K. moviegoers and U.S. moviegoers, who are inundated with all kinds of overpriced snacks. It is probably more effective if you’re not chowing down popcorn like I am, or drinking gallons of sugary sodas in cups that are only available in the size of a small child.

But this is probably great news for theaters with waning audience attendance. Need to up your ticket sales? Advertise the health benefits of seeing Uncut Gems in the theater — with the Safdie Brothers’ film’s level of anxiety and tension, viewers can probably burn dozens of calories. But at least this could give us an easy out for New Year’s resolutions: we can knock out see more award-winning movies and work out with one comfy stone.

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