A new study reveals that players of Pokémon GO walked over 144 billion steps in the past three months in the United States.
The study came from Microsoft Research’s Ryen W. White and Eric Horvitz and Stanford’s Tim Althoff, where they “study the effect of Pokémon Go on physical activity through a combination of signals from large-scale corpora of wearable sensor data and search engine logs for 32 thousand users over a period of three months. Pokémon Go players are identified through search engine queries and activity is measured through accelerometry.”
Their conclusion came to:
We find that Pokémon Go leads to significant increases in physical activity over a period of 30 days, with particularly engaged users (i.e., those making multiple search queries for details about game usage) increasing their activity by 1,473 steps a day on average, a more than 25% increase compared to their prior activity level (p < 10−15). In the short time span of the study, we estimate that Pokémon Go has added a total of 144 billion steps to US physical activity. Furthermore, Pokémon Go has been able to increase physical activity across men and women of all ages, weight status, and prior activity levels showing this form of game leads to increases in physical activity with significant implications for public health.
One of the best parts may be that Pokémon GO has particularly added activity to the lifestyles of people who were less active before, while most health apps have only appealed to those who already led active lifestyles.
Gripes about Pokémon GO aside, it’s good that our gaming population is getting active.