How Pokemon Go is inspiring the world to go outdoors

Augmented reality game is improving players’ physical and mental health.

Pokemon Go
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you couldn’t fail to notice the craze of Pokemon Go.

The augmented reality game has made headlines across the globe and people of all ages are logging on and tramping the streets in search of the virtual creatures.

Pokemon Go has catapulted people outdoors and experts are now predicating the benefits – both mentally and physically.

Fitness tracker apps are recording huge spikes in exercise among users since the game was released, with players suddenly shunning transport in favour of walking so they can hunt Pokemon on the move. One man told The Guardian he had walked 12,000 steps one Sunday – far more than his usual 3,000.

“I think it’s an exciting development,” J Graham Thomas, assistant professor of psychiatry and human behaviour at the Miriam Hospital’s Weight Control Research Center, told Daily Mail Online.

“For a long time, the technology and gaming industries have been associated with a decrease in physical activity and that has resulted in a lot of health problems.

“To see technology and gaming changing in a way that promotes physical activity and being around other people is really good.”

It’s long been acknowledged that spending time outdoors benefits on people’s overall wellbeing. But improved physical health is just one bonus – with mental health also cited as one of the other massive positives of the game.

Dr John Grohol, founder and head of mental health network Psych Central, branded it revolutionary. “I’ve ever seen anything like that,” he said in a blog post.

“’We already know that exercise helps greatly with depression (along with virtually every other mental health problem), but being motivated to exercise when you’re depressed is a challenge. That’s why an engaging game like Pokemon Go can be helpful.

“Pokemon Go does this by encouraging people to get outside, take a walk, talk to others, and explore the world around them. Granted,

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you couldn’t fail to notice the craze of Pokemon Go.

The augmented reality game has made headlines across the globe and people of all ages are logging on and tramping the streets in search of the virtual creatures.

Pokemon Go has catapulted people outdoors and experts are now predicating the benefits – both mentally and physically.

Fitness tracker apps are recording huge spikes in exercise among users since the game was released, with players suddenly shunning transport in favour of walking so they can hunt Pokemon on the move. One man told The Guardian he had walked 12,000 steps one Sunday – far more than his usual 3,000.

“I think it’s an exciting development,” J Graham Thomas, assistant professor of psychiatry and human behaviour at the Miriam Hospital’s Weight Control Research Center, told Daily Mail Online.

“For a long time, the technology and gaming industries have been associated with a decrease in physical activity and that has resulted in a lot of health problems.

“To see technology and gaming changing in a way that promotes physical activity and being around other people is really good.”

It’s long been acknowledged that spending time outdoors benefits on people’s overall wellbeing. But improved physical health is just one bonus – with mental health also cited as one of the other massive positives of the game.

Dr John Grohol, founder and head of mental health network Psych Central, branded it revolutionary. “I’ve ever seen anything like that,” he said in a blog post.

“’We already know that exercise helps greatly with depression (along with virtually every other mental health problem), but being motivated to exercise when you’re depressed is a challenge. That’s why an engaging game like Pokemon Go can be helpful.

“Pokemon Go does this by encouraging people to get outside, take a walk, talk to others, and explore the world around them. Granted, it’s through their smartphone acting as an interface, but walking is walking, even if the motivation for doing so is to play a game.”

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