Less than five percent of adults exercise for 30 minutes or more per day, and only one-third of all adults receive the recommended amount of physical activity each week. But the popular app Pokemon Go is looking to change that.
Pokemon Go, which Nintendo released less than a month ago, requires players, aka trainers, to walk all over their neighborhoods to find Pokemon characters hiding in the real world. These characters are positioned at PokeStops randomly throughout town, and can be seen at churches, malls, schools, and even people’s homes.
Millennials, the sedentary generation, are playing this game and discovering many unexpected health benefits along the way. While on the hunt, teens who usually spend their time indoors will clock hours outside in the fresh air. They are having so much fun playing the game that they are not realizing they are walking miles each day while ‘on the hunt.’
On top of that, Pokemon Go seems to help those with mental health disorders like anxiety and depression. Trainers worldwide have come forward saying that Pokemon Go has given them the confidence to leave the house without feeling anxious.
In order to test whether or not Pokemon Go was just hype, Matt Hoffman, DNP at Texas A&M College of Nursing, decided to download the app. He tells Science Daily about his experiences.
“What began as just playing the game has now become a hobby for me that provides certain health benefits. I’ve spent an hour or two at a time venturing around the community to find Pokéstops. And, to hatch one egg, a trainer must walk anywhere from one to six miles. There’s no doubt about it, I am exercising more as a result of playing the game, and I am enjoying it.”
Hoffman does emphasize that players do need to hunt with caution, never to play while driving, and to always pay attention to their surroundings.
On any given day, there are between nine to 22 million Pokemon trainers combing the streets, trying to catch them all.