Burning Calories While Getting Spooked

burning calories

Photo by Sammy-Sander on Pixabay.


During this time of year, it seems fitting to set a spooky mood by turning on a scary movie or two! And while you can sometimes feel lazy or guilty for missing your routine workouts to eat sweets and watch films, research has shown that watching horror movies can burn up a lot of extra calories!

A study by the University of Westminster (later reported on by The Guardian) found that watching a 90-minute scary movie can burn around 113 calories− the number of calories equal to a half-hour of walking.

The researchers revealed that viewers’ elevated heart rates made it easier for their bodies to burn calories while sedentary.  It was explained by Dr. Richard Mackenzie− lecturer and cell metabolism specialist of the University of Westminster− that “as the pulse quickens and blood pumps around the body faster, the body experiences a surge in adrenaline. It is this release of fast-acting adrenaline, produced during short bursts of intense stress (or in this case, brought on by fear) which is known to lower the appetite, increase the basal metabolic rate, and ultimately burn a higher level of calories.”

Study Film List

Below are the 10 films that were viewed in the study (ranked by the number of calories burned):

1. The Shining: 184 calories
2. Jaws: 161 calories
3. The Exorcist: 158 calories
4. Alien: 152 calories
5. Saw: 133 calories
6. A Nightmare on Elm Street: 118 calories
7. Paranormal Activity: 111 calories
8. The Blair Witch Project: 105 calories
9. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: 107 calories
10. [Rec]: 101 calories

Now, knowing that burning calories Is possible while watching horror films does not mean that you should abandon all physical activity! Instead, use this information to feel less guilty about spending your night cuddled up watching movies.

Be aware: these movies are regarded as some of the scariest in film history, and therefore, may not be suitable for all audiences. Study parental guides and ratings before viewing and only watch what you’re comfortable with!

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About Kayla Gonzalez

Kayla is a graduate of Texas A&M University and joined the Empower Brokerage marketing team in early 2021. She creates content for the company websites and assists with various marketing campaigns. LinkedIn Profile

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