When I reflect back on my past experiences at Reading Festival, I certainly do not immediately associate them with having any particular health benefits – in fact, quite the opposite.
Three days of drinking to a seriously impressive excess; surviving on nothing but overpriced burgers and questionable chicken; and, well, sleep simply being out of the question, you should end up leaving on the Monday feeling inches from the grave – otherwise you just haven’t done the iconic British festival right.
For me, going to a festival is all about the experience and atmosphere so, quite honestly, I will take no notice of the dietary consequences of that quarter pounder smothered in plastic cheese I just washed down with one (or five) pints of cider. When you have a whole day of dancing, throwing your arms about and surviving mosh pits, you need all the carbs you can get, so who cares if you eat a whole French baguette and several squashed cereal bars for breakfast, right?
However, new research shows that the amount of calories you can burn at a festival can be impressively high. On average, during each act, you burn between 400-700 calories depending on how crazy you go with the dancing. You will also walk approximately 4.7 miles a day, so on an exercise front, festivals are actually pretty good for you. You can indulge in some of the best music around, let loose, have an absolutely unforgettable time and not feel totally guilty about it.
Over the entire weekend, festival-goers will burn on average a remarkable 9000 calories and walk 15 miles. That is the third highest of all the major UK festivals, coming just under V Festival and the epic Glastonbury, where fans will burn off an average of 10,200 calories over the course of a four day event.
Technology company Withings are to thank for these calculations that can put our health-conscious minds slightly at rest. It turns out dancing wildly, staggering around fields and mad dashes between stages all adds up.
If only it could be that care-free and enjoyable burning that amount of calories at the gym.