Cue the standing ovation.
A night out at the theater can often become a cherished memory for years to come. But we bet you never thought it’s a boon for your health, too.
Well, a new British study sure has some interesting news to share. Recently, University College London and the University of Lancaster in association with Encore Tickets, collected stats from 12 volunteers at a performance of Dreamgirls at the Savoy Theatre in London. In addition to monitoring participants’ heart rates with electronic wristbands, they also looked at brain activity and various psychological cues throughout the show.
Surprisingly, the researchers found that the volunteers’ heart rates rose as the show’s drama unraveled to between 50 and 70 percent of their maximum. According to the British Heart Foundation, this range is optimal for your cardiovascular health and boosting stamina.
The heart rate spikes occurred during key parts of the show’s action (like right before the end of the first act and during the show’s finale). Dr. Joseph Devlin, the head of Experimental Psychology at University College London said this activity was the equivalent of “an exerting cardio workout.”
Skeptical? ““By the end of the first act, heart rates nearly doubled from their resting state at the beginning, while in the second act, it tripled,” Dr.Devlin explained. “You see comparable changes in heart rate in professional tennis players during burst of highly intense exertion such as long and fast rallies.”
Well, there’s our excuse to snag a pair of tickets to Wicked or Irving Berlin's White Christmas next time they’ve got a tour stop in town!