When it first came out, it was considered the new way to stay active and give people a workout, but now Pokémon Go is not moving as it was originally thought to be.
Already there are hundreds of millions of players engaging in the game where they wander around and stare at their smartphones trying to pinpoint characters. The entire purpose of the game is to create an augmented reality.
Some people have strayed into less-than-appropriate areas to catch these characters, including private property and even a Holocaust museum at one point, says BBC.
The risk of being distracted means that someone could hurt themselves or others — and it has been proven with the numerous motor vehicle accidents tied to the game.
However, the optimists that promoted it always said that it was a great exercise. That was why they stuck with the game despite the warnings and obvious downfalls.
Researchers Say It Is Not a Fitness Boost
The British Medical Journal recently published a research study from Harvard University that found that the fitness benefits of the game were significantly short lived.
While the game is a nice thought, Popular Science points out that the steps taken by players and non-players were average step counts and they were not continuous. The study examined how much of an effect the app would have on fitness by looking at the step numbers of more than 1,182 iPhone 6 users that were aged 18 to 35. They then compared the stats of Pokémon Go players and non-players over several weeks to see how their “fitness” levels measured.
During the first week, they did note a good activity bump. The average boost was a step increase of 955 steps, which is an estimated 11 minutes of additional walking per day.
The step increase, however, was much smaller than other interventions, like using a Fitbit.
The researchers found that those that used step counters, like Fitbit, were likely to increase their steps daily by 2500.
The World Health Organization, according to Mod Bee, recommends 150 minutes of aerobic activity per day, which comes out to 21.4 minutes of exercise per day. That is twice as much exercise as Pokémon Go provides players.
Also, researchers pointed out that the game was highly addictive the first week, which is what contributed to the step increase. From there, a few weeks later players spent much less time walking around to capture their characters. By the sixth week, they were back to their pre-Pokémon Go habits.
The study did not specifically address the “drop off” factor, because players may quit the game entirely when the fun of the game wears off.
While the game has dominated download records since it launched in July, it has also recently fallen from the top app charts and download numbers have equally declined. Some have stopped purchasing in-game coins, showing that the game has reached its peak and is moving back down.
Despite the results of the study, researchers did believe that it was a good motivating tool to get people moving, but not necessary a workout replacement.