Watch Sports for fitness

People exercising (Credit:  Pixeldefinition/Flickr)

Main Point:

Researchers have told an easy way to get fit – Watch sports.

Published in:

Frontiers in Autonomic Neuroscience

Study Further:

Researchers have reported that watching other people exercise usually increases heart rate of the person along with some other physiological parameters as the person himself is doing exercise.

In the present study, researchers inserted very fine needles into an outer nerve of nine volunteers to record the electrical signals of nerve fibers directed to blood vessels, and to check their muscle sympathetic nerve activity and other physiological parameters.

“Recording this nerve activity provides a very sensitive measure of the body’s physiological responses to physical or mental stress,” said one of the lead researchers Vaughan Macefield, from the School of Medicine at the University of Western Sydney.

Sports (Credit: Darin House/Flickr)

Researchers initially showed static image to volunteers then they showed non-moving landscape images and finally a 22-minute video shot by a runner on a vigorous jog. Researchers found increased sympathetic nerve activity during a video shot by a runner.

“We know that the sympathetic nervous system — which supplies the heart, sweat glands and blood vessels, as well as other tissues — increases its activity during actual exercise,” Macefield said.

“Now we have shown that it increases when you are watching a moving scene as if you were running yourself.”

Although, watching someone running could increase the chances of getting fit but “nothing can replace the health benefits of getting off the couch,” he said.


Watching Sports Can Make You Fitter – Discovery News (

Rachael Brown et al. (2013). Increases in muscle sympathetic nerve activity, heart rate, respiration, and skin blood flow during passive viewing of exercise Frontiers in Autonomic Neuroscience DOI: 10.3389/fnins.2013.00102

Usman Zafar Paracha

Usman Zafar Paracha is a sort of entrepreneur. He is the author of "Color Atlas of Statistics", and the owner of an Android game "Faily Rocket."