In an attempt to determine just how much impact Pokémon Go has had on physical activity, researchers collected data and engine logs from the Microsoft Bands of around 32 thousand US users over a period of three months
It was found that Pokémon Go players who are still regularly engaged with the app are taking on average around 1500 more steps per day.
According to the researchers, this is about a 25% increase on average pre-Pokémon Go physical activity, leading to the conclusion that if the players were able to sustain something close to this increase, it could lead to a 6% lower mortality risk thanks to the health benefits of increased physical activity.
More time to catch ‘em all
More interestingly, it was found that Pokémon Go led to increases in physical activity for men and women of all ages, weights, and prior activity levels. Thanks to this widespread appeal the researchers said there's a good chance the app could have a measurably positive impact on public health if it could find ways to sustain long-term engagement.
Where activity tracking apps have a tendency to appeal to users already interested in improving their health through exercise, Pokémon Go offered a way to increase physical activity in a more subtle and fun way that has more potential “to reach activity-poor populations.”
If the recent updates to Pokémon Go haven’t been enough to draw you back into the game, perhaps this will. Although, depending on the strength of your distaste, if all your days gained are spent playing Pokémon Go anyway, you might not consider it worth it.
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Emma Boyle is TechRadar’s ex-Gaming Editor, and is now a content developer and freelance journalist. She has written for magazines and websites including T3, Stuff and The Independent. Emma currently works as a Content Developer in Edinburgh.