00:00 27 October 2016
Pokemon Go has been hugely popular since it was released in July. Aside from taking players to the street to catch on-screen monsters like Picachu and Snorlax, others claim that the augmented reality game has possible health benefits.
A new research suggests that Pokemon Go increase users’ activity levels regardless of their age, sex or weight and could even extend life expectancy if kept up indefinitely.
Researchers at Stanford University and Microsoft Research in the US analysed movement data shared by 32,000 users and web queries on search engine Bing over a three-month period from the time Pokemon Go was released in the US.
The study found that an average Pokemon Go player took 192 more steps per day while highly engaged players took extra 1,473 steps more than before they started playing the game. Researches estimate that the players have added a total of 144 billion steps to physical activity in the US over the period of their study.
One of the report's authors, Tim Althoff from Stanford University's Computer Science department, "One of the things I'm most excited about is that the game was played by lots of people that are overweight or obese, and who were not very active prior to playing the game,"
"Many people feel good after exercising and it is possible that there are 'spillover' effects. People realise that being more active is good for their health and well-being, and might become a bit more active irrespective of how many Pokemons they will be catching along the way."