N.C. — Pokemon Go spurred millions of people to collect
virtual monsters through the smartphone app and got many of
them up and walking.
Duke Health study suggests the game might have had a health
benefit for doing just that. Some users added thousands of
steps a day, suggesting that it’s possible to design fun
ways to increase physical activity.
of enjoyment and lack of time are the most common reasons for
not being physically active," said lead author Hanzhang
Xu, a Ph.D. student at the Duke University School of Nursing.
"So incorporating physical activity into the gameplay on
mobile devices could provide an alternative way to promote
team recruited 167 iPhone users who had played Pokemon Go in
July 2016 according to a news release from the university. The
researchers designed an online survey and asked participants
to provide screenshots of their daily steps reported by the
iPhone Health app between June 15 and July 31, 2016.
Researchers then compared their daily steps before and after
playing Pokémon Go.
found that participants were twice as likely to reach 10,000
steps per day after playing the game than they were before
they began playing. Before playing Pokemon Go, the
participants reached 10,000 steps about 15.3 percent of the
time. After beginning to play the game, they reached 10,000
steps about 27.5 percent.
findings were particularly encouraging among participants who
had low activity levels or were overweight before playing
Pokémon Go, with these players adding nearly 3,000 steps a
day after playing the game.
think our study could have implications for the design of
other digital health interventions that encourage people to
exercise more," Xu said.
findings of the study were presented at the American Heart
Association’s Epidemiology and Prevention/Lifestyle and
Cardiometabolic Health meeting in Portland, Ore., according to
a news release from Duke.
addition to Xu, study authors included: Ying Xian, Haolin Xu,
Li Liang, Adrian F. Hernandez, Tracy Y. Wang and Eric D.
Peterson. The study was funded by the Duke Clinical Research