I thought this month I’d take a novel approach to the newsletter/blog article and touch on one of the latest worldwide trends. In the last week or two, you may have become aware of a strange phenomenon around your workplace, out on the street, or outside your home. Groups of people en masse, walking around, glued to their phone screens, seemingly oblivious to their surroundings. They have fallen victim to the latest app craze – Pokemon GO!
If you haven’t seemed to notice this happening in the world around you, you may have become aware of it through various forms of media. If not, let me quickly explain how it works. Players of Pokemon GO participate in the game by walking around the streets. Their phones automatically pick up their position on a real map linked to the game, and the purpose is to successfully pursue Pokemon characters that show up on the map, through walking, running, cycling, catching public transport etc. Players are required to walk to numerous locations within their immediate vicinity, and the game updates with new characters to pursue as they go.
How is this relevant to this newsletter/blog you ask?! Well, it turns out that players are inadvertently performing quite a high level of exercise that they may not otherwise perform. In fact, a recent survey indicated that 87% of players classified themselves as more active after starting the Pokemon GO app compared to before. Nearly 70% of players surveyed reported walking an average distance of 4.7km per day (approx. 6,200 steps) with the app open alone. Furthermore, players who reported measures from their smartphone’s step count record showed an average increase of 5,553 steps per day since commencing the game!
In today’s world, there is likely to be more of this type of integration between technology and exercise. Whether you’re an advocate or not, Pokemon GO is an example of perhaps making exercise more interesting and fun for those who would otherwise not really perform much at all.