Researchers Study Link between Pokémon GO and a Healthier Lifestyle

Pokémon GO's worldwide release sent crowds hiking through parks, meandering into streets and walking for miles in search of Pokémon, those cute little digital characters that appear in real locations on your smartphone. Capturing the little monsters isn't just fun for the players, it might be good for their health. Too often we sit at a desk all day, spend countless hours in the car, and with a smartphone glued to our hands it is too easy to spend our free time watching videos, playing games and browsing the internet. Such sedentary behaviors cause us to sit more and exercise less.

However, Kent State University researchers found that playing a popular physically-interactive, smartphone based game, like Pokémon GO, may actually promote exercise.

Jacob Barkley, Ph.D., Andrew Lepp, Ph.D., and Ellen Glickman, Ph.D., from Kent State's College of Education, Health and Human Services assessed the ability of the popular, physically-interactive, smartphone based video game Pokémon GO to increase walking and decrease sedentary behavior, like sitting. Over 350 college students reported their physical activity and sedentary behavior the week before they downloaded Pokémon GO, the week immediately after downloading the game, and again several weeks later.

Results show that, relative to the week before downloading Pokémon GO, students doubled their daily walking behavior (102 percent increase) and reduced sedentary behavior by 25 percent during the first week after downloading. When comparing behavior several weeks after downloading Pokémon GO, to the week before downloading, walking and sedentary behavior was still 68 percent greater and 18 percent lower, respectively, even though frequency of game play decreased by 58 percent.

"While the largest increases in walking and decreases in sitting occurred during the first week after downloading, when the game was new to the user, those positive effects largely persisted weeks later," Barkley said. "It is possible that games like Pokémon GO may help people initiate a positive health behavior change, such as more daily walking and less sitting."

The researchers suggest that while many smartphone functions may promote sedentary activity, they are hopeful that playing physically-interactive, smartphone based video games like Pokémon GO may help promote walking and reduce sitting in college students.

Barkley Jacob E., Lepp Andrew, Glickman Ellen L.
"Pokémon Go!" May Promote Walking, Discourage Sedentary Behavior in College Students.
Games for Health Journal 2017 63, 165-170, doi: 10.1089/g4h.2017.0009

Most Popular Now

Researchers Invent AI Model to Design Ne…

Researchers at McMaster University and Stanford University have invented a new generative artificial intelligence (AI) model which can design billions of new antibiotic molecules that are inexpensive and easy to...

ChatGPT can Produce Medical Record Notes…

The AI model ChatGPT can write administrative medical notes up to ten times faster than doctors without compromising quality. This is according to a new study conducted by researchers at...

Alcidion and Novari Health Forge Strateg…

Alcidion Group Limited, a leading provider of FHIR-native patient flow solutions for healthcare, and Novari Health, a market leader in waitlist management and referral management technologies, have joined forces to...

Greater Manchester Reaches New Milestone…

Radiologists and radiographers at Northern Care Alliance NHS Foundation Trust have become the first in Greater Manchester to use the Sectra picture archiving and communication system (PACS) to report on...

Can Language Models Read the Genome? Thi…

The same class of artificial intelligence that made headlines coding software and passing the bar exam has learned to read a different kind of text - the genetic code. That code...

Advancing Drug Discovery with AI: Introd…

A transformative study published in Health Data Science, a Science Partner Journal, introduces a groundbreaking end-to-end deep learning framework, known as Knowledge-Empowered Drug Discovery (KEDD), aimed at revolutionizing the field...

Study Shows Human Medical Professionals …

When looking for medical information, people can use web search engines or large language models (LLMs) like ChatGPT-4 or Google Bard. However, these artificial intelligence (AI) tools have their limitations...

Bayer and Google Cloud to Accelerate Dev…

Bayer and Google Cloud announced a collaboration on the development of artificial intelligence (AI) solutions to support radiologists and ultimately better serve patients. As part of the collaboration, Bayer will...

Wanted: Young Talents. DMEA Sparks Bring…

9 - 11 April 2024, Berlin, Germany. The digital health industry urgently needs skilled workers, which is why DMEA sparks focuses on careers, jobs and supporting young people. Against the backdrop of...

Shared Digital NHS Prescribing Record co…

Implementing a single shared digital prescribing record across the NHS in England could avoid nearly 1 million drug errors every year, stopping up to 16,000 fewer patients from being harmed...

Ask Chat GPT about Your Radiation Oncolo…

Cancer patients about to undergo radiation oncology treatment have lots of questions. Could ChatGPT be the best way to get answers? A new Northwestern Medicine study tested a specially designed ChatGPT...

North West Anglia Works with Clinisys to…

North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust has replaced two, legacy laboratory information systems with a single instance of Clinisys WinPath. The trust, which serves a catchment of 800,000 patients in North...