Study Shows Pokémon Go Did Boost Physical Activity, But Not For Long

Pokémon Go was a massive hit when it came out in the summer – inspiring people to get out the house walk for miles, just to catch ‘em all.  But, according to a study published by The BMJ, that physical activity only lasts six weeks.

In the study, researchers looked at players aged 18 to 35 in the US, split them into 560 “avid” players and 622 players who had just download the app for the first time. In their research, they found that no variables (age, sex, race, location, body weight, etc) affected the activity levels.

Now, with that quick disclaimer out the way, let’s look at the numbers. Players took an average of nearly 1,000 more steps a day than they did previously, during the first week of gameplay – equivalent to 11 more minutes of walking in a 24-hour period.

However, this doesn’t last long, as within the first six weeks of playing the game, users had returned to their previous levels of physical activity. This could be because of users deciding to play the game while driving, as one study showed.

But nothing can be taken from the positive effects on mental health issues like anxiety and depression, as it gave people a real feeling of social belonging.

No matter how divisive this app is in terms of public opinion, the community built around it has been incredible, as you can see by our video documenting the first weekend of release in Nottingham, UK.