Scientists: Pokemon Go temporarily helps improve physical fitness

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Observations of players in Pokemon Go showed that this game helped them to improve their physical condition for a short time, shedding a few extra pounds due to the fact that they walked about a kilometer more than usual every day.
MOSCOW, December 14 – RIA Novosti. Observations of players in Pokemon Go showed that the game helped them to briefly improve their physical shape, shedding a few extra pounds due to the fact that they walked about a kilometer more than usual every day. This is stated in an article published in BMJ magazine .

Pokemon Go game application from Nintendo. Archive photo
November 24, 2016 1:51 pm
In Japan, bus driver gets into traffic accident while playing Pokemon Go
This is not the first time in Japan that a driver has played Pokemon Go while driving.
Pokemon Go was released by Niantic in July 2016, making it one of the first mainstream mobile games to incorporate “augmented reality” technology to connect the virtual and real worlds. In the summer, it was very popular – in the first months after the release of Pokemon Go, over half a billion people downloaded and installed.
As Niantic noted at the time, the game not only entertained people, but also helped them improve their health, forcing them to travel long distances in search of Pokémon and climb into unexpected places.

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Such “adventures”, as practice has shown, often led to unexpected discoveries and unpleasant surprises – for example, in the US state of Missouri, bandits began to ambush in the place where rare Pokemon were “found”, and players in several states at once while searching for Pokemon found the bodies of missing people. In Russia, deputies have repeatedly proposed to ban this application, and one video blogger was arrested for playing Pokemon Go in a temple in Yekaterinburg.

Pokemon Go game application. Archive photo
October 3, 2016 10:57 am
A road sign “Caution, Pokemon Catchers” appeared in St. Petersburg
The triangular sign shows schematic figurines of two people, whose mobile phones are aimed at a Pokemon figurine. Users of social networks write about this.
Katherine Howe from Harvard University (USA) and her colleagues decided to test whether “Pokemon” really help players keep fit or not. To do this, scientists gathered in early August a group of about a thousand volunteers who regularly played Pokemon Go, and asked them to install a program on their smartphones that counted the number of steps taken.

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A few weeks later, scientists summed up the results of the experiment, comparing the number of steps taken among Pokemon lovers and people from a control group who led a normal lifestyle. It turned out that the “Pokemon” walked a thousand more steps on average. If we translate this into meters, then we can say that every day Pokemon Go fans walked an additional 800-1000 meters.

Young people play Pokemon Go. Archive photo
Hunt for Pokemon on Red Square, near the buildings of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the FSB
Pokemon appeared on the streets of Moscow, despite the fact that officially in Russia, as in many European countries, the Pokemon Go application, which has already become known to the whole world, has not yet been officially released.

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According to scientists, this distance corresponds to about 11 minutes of unhurried walking and is equal to about half of what the WHO recommends for keeping fit. Accordingly, we can say that in the first weeks of playing Pokemon Go really helps you lose weight.
On the other hand, as Howe and her colleagues found, these benefits do not last long — about five weeks or less. Over time, the participants in the experiment began to play less and less in Pokemon Go, and by the fifth week the difference in the distance traveled between them and ordinary people dropped to zero.

“Don’t discount these six weeks of increased physical activity. We just need to figure out how to get people to get longer with exercise, walking and other forms of activity,” concludes Eric Rimm, a Harvard colleague of Howe.

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