Study: Horror movies can scare you thin

While many people use movies to while away the drudgery of a workout, a study suggests to burn calories, you might be able to skip the gym altogether: if you pick the right movie. 

Researchers at the University of Westminster say you can burn as many as 184 calories -- as many as in a small candy bar -- by watching an intense horror movie like The Shining.

The creepy Stanley Kubrick classic was found to have helped test subjects burn the most calories when ranked against other horror films like The Exorcist, which melted 158 calories, Jaws, which logged a burn of 161 calories and Alien, which helped viewers burn 152 calories, the Telegraph notes. 

The cause? All those jump scares and other creepy moments in a 90 minute horror movie have a similar effect on your body than, say, taking a long walk or other forms of exercise. "Each of the ten films tested set pulses racing, sparking an increase in the heart rate of the case studies," noted the university's Dr. Richard Mackenzie.

"As the pulse quickens and blood pumps around the body faster, the body experiences a surge in adrenaline...brought on by fear, which is known to lower the appetite, increase the basal metabolic rate and ultimately burn a higher level of calories," he noted.

Here is the university's list of the 10 films researchers found to have the greatest caloric impact:

 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

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