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Playing Pokémon Go may actually be good for your health

A new medical research paper shows there may be some health benefits for people who play the popular mobile AR game Pokémon Go.

Published onJune 3, 2017

Pokémon Go has been out for almost a year, and while it is not quite as popular as it once was, there are still plenty of players out there who are walking around their city or town looking to catch new creatures with the AR-based mobile game. Now a medical paper that was recently published the Journal of the American Heart Association seems to show that playing Pokémon Go may be good for your overall health.

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The paper says that its team recruited 167 Pokémon Go players who were asked to send screenshots of their step counts as recorded on their phones. This happened between June 15 and July 31, 2016, which also happened to be 3 weeks before and 3 weeks after the launch of the game. The average age of the people who took part in the study was 25 years old.

Before the game launched, the average daily amount of steps recorded by those players was 5,678. However, at the end of the recording period, three weeks after the game began, the average step count went up to 7,654. The obvious conclusion is that playing Pokémon Go does indeed cause an overall increase in a person’s physical activity (PA). It added, “Incorporating PA into gameplay may provide an alternative way to promote PA in persons who are attracted to the game.”

Even though Pokémon Go may have lost a large number of its initial player base, there are rumors that developer Niantic Labs will be launching a major update to the game this summer. The update may finally add multiplayer player-vs-player modes to the game, among other additions. In that case, we could see another boost in PA as well.