Cinema-Goers Might Be Fitter Than Your Average Crossfit Junkie

Mª del Rosario Castro Díaz Mª del Rosario Castro Díaz

Castro Theatre Signage

Whip out the gym kit and head to the cinema for your next cardio session.

Watching the latest action-packed blockbuster at the cinema may be just as good as a light cardio session, according to a study. Fifty-one participants were made to watch the 2019 live-action adaptation of Aladdin while biometric sensors kept track of changes in their heart rate, body temperature, and skin reactions.

The result? As participants watched the movie, their heart rate increased and remained in the healthy heart zone for an average of 40 minutes. According to scientists, this light increase in heart rate can help build up cardio fitness and burn fat. Pass us the popcorn!

Study Shows Going To The Cinema Can Be As Beneficial As Cardio
Photo: Erik Witsoe, Unsplash

But heart rates didn’t only raise to a healthy beat, they also synched up with those of the people around them. This meant that the strangers connected at a deeper emotional level while watching the movie. Awww.

Similar studies on focus and memory also suggested that concentrating on one activity (like watching a movie on the big screen) rather than multitasking, can be very beneficial for our brain health. So going to the movies is not only beneficial for our physical health but also our mental and emotional health.


Hitting the gym with a friend or S.O. won’t allow for the same kind of deep, emotional bonding as going to the movies, will it? So next time they ask you to go on a run around the neighborhood with them (ugh), why not suggest getting your cardio done to the rhythm of your synched up heartbeats while watching the latest release?

Originally posted on Secret D.C. by Rose Castro Diaz.