Before you continue reading, take a look at the above photo. Do you see the people in this AMC Theater fully reclined in their chair? Believe it or not, they are most likely engaged in a “light workout.”
In a study conducted by University College London, researchers discovered that watching a movie in the theater can count as a “light workout.”
The study analyzed the responses of 51 moviegoers while watching the 2019 live-action Aladdin remake by hooking them up to sensors which tracked their heart rates and skin reactions.
It was determined that these people remained for about 45 minutes in a “healthy heart zone,” which is when the heart beats between 40 and 80 percent of its maximum rate. This type of heart activity is comparable to someone who is engaged in a light cardiovascular exercise, such as brisk walking or gardening.
When watching a movie in a theater, you are practically forced to keep your attention on the big screen, and avoid any tempting interactions with that small screen in your pocket. This type of attentiveness to plot details promotes positive problem-solving development.
"In a world where it is increasingly difficult to step away from our devices, this level of sustained focus is good for us," Dr. Joseph Devlin, a neuroscience professor at UCL, tells Daily Mail.
An interesting footnote related to this study is that there is a sense of togetherness that happens when people watch a movie in a theater as people’s hearts sync up and begin to beat in unison.