The health benefits of watching scary movies


Tue, 07 Nov 2017 - 05:52 GMT

Watching horror movies can help you burn calories and boosts your immune system – “Purge” movie still - /YouTube

Watching horror movies can help you burn calories and boosts your immune system – “Purge” movie still - /YouTube

CAIRO – 7 November 2017: Watching a horror movie with your friends can be a great deal of spooky fun, but can it have positive effects on your health? Studies say yes.


A study done by researchers from the University of Westminster in the UK showed that watching a scary movie can actually affect your mood positively. Not only that, it can also help you lose some weight.

According to the study, one can lose up to 184 calories, which is equivalent to what a man who weighs 64 kilograms would lose after walking for 40 minutes, provided that the viewer wants to be scared and is excited about the experience. In cases where you are not enjoying the experience, this might lead to side effects, according to Time Health.


The study suggests that watching horror movies urge the body to release adrenaline, putting the viewer in a fight-or-flight kind of situation, where the body feels intensely ready to take action to save itself but then is relieved by the end of the movie. In 2003, another study done by Coventry University in the UK found that watching horror movies boosts the body’s immune functions and the levels of white blood cells which help fight infections.

The study also showed that a sense of relief follows watching horror movies; as the elevation in stress levels fades away and you experiences a better mood and feel calmer than before. In a statement for Time, Margee Kerr, author of “Scream: Chilling Adventures in the Science of Fear” explained “a high-arousal negative stimuli improves mood significantly.”

As people usually feel calm and less stressed after scary experiences like watching scary movies, given the fact they have willingly took part in the experience, as Kerr stresses, people who do not enjoy thrilling experiences might not enjoy these benefits.



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