A study has revealed a surprising side-effect to watching horror movies: weight loss.
Researchers at the University of Westminster found that watching horror films can both boost people's moods as well as make them lose weight.
Ten subjects were monitored while watching a scary movie and researchers kept tabs on their heart rate, oxygen intake and carbon dioxide output.
The scary stimuli were found to cause the viewers to release adrenaline and trigger the nervous system's fight-or-flight response.
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
This meant that the people watching the horror movie started burning fat stores for energy and releasing blood sugar.
The release of adrenaline forced their body to up their metabolism, causing them to burn sugar without the need for oxygen.
Researchers found that watching some horror movies can actually burn as many calories as going for a 30-minute walk.
The Shining, for example, was found to burn an average of 184 calories, nearly the equivalent of a half-hour brisk walk.
The study is not peer-reviewed and only looked at a small sample but it's bound to cheer up some horror film fiends who wouldn't mind dropping some kilos.
Top 10 scary movies for weight loss:
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 Chain Saw Massacre: 107 calories
10. [Rec]: 101 calories