Movie magic

by Black Sheep, 31st January 2020

Wanna get fit? Sit down, put your feet up and watch a film. Apparently...

Great news for all you New Year resolution failures (I’m with ya!). That gym you joined but haven’t visited yet? You needn’t have bothered. You should’ve spent the membership fee down the local flicks instead.

Scientists at University College London (UCL) say a trip to the cinema counts as a “light form of cardio” exercise. They also say it can be good for your heart, and aid memory and concentration.

Some 51 cinemagoers were fitted with sensors to track their heart rate and body temperature while they sat through the live-action version of Aladdin. And lo, the genie came up trumps.

Their heart rates increased for about 45 minutes to between 40 and 80 percent of their maximum healthy heart rate, the health benefits of which are equivalent to a light cardio exercise.

“Cultural experiences like going to the cinema provide opportunities for our brain to devote our undivided attention for sustained periods of time,” says Joseph Devlin, professor of cognitive neuroscience at UCL.

Well, that was the cue for Mrs Sheep and I to hot foot it down to Shrewsbury to watch people get blown to smithereens in that war film 1917, with the professor’s words still ringing in our ears.

“At the cinema specifically, there is nothing else to do except immerse yourself,” he adds.

But hang on. That’s not strictly true, is it? Coz I ended up immersing my hand into a big bucket of popcorn, before washing it down with a giant vat of Coke. And that was before I got stuck into the Revels.

Sadly, the experiment - commissioned by Vue Cinemas - doesn’t mention that part of the cultural experience.

A mutton for punishment, Black Sheep welcomes all comments. Email blacksheep@borderpublishing.com to air your points of view. You can also read Black Sheep in Welsh Border Life every month. 

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