Since its release just four days ago on July 6, Pokémon GO has become one of the most-popular and most talked-about smartphone games ever played. However, the augmented reality game has a very peculiar “side affect” and that it is improving fans’ health. That’s right. Pokémon GO may be the cause of an exercise pandemic!
Before continuing on to how the popular smartphone game is causing its fans to achieve their daily goals of exercise, it is best to detail what Pokémon GO is. As mentioned earlier, it is an augmented reality game available on smartphones that run on iOS and Android. Developed by Niantic and distributed by The Pokémon Company, the game is literally a camera game in which users look through their camera and see Pokémon, thus the augmented reality part. However, users can’t just access their camera and find a Pokémon. They actually have to move around in the real world to move their avatar, a character the user customizes, in the game itself too.
The last detail of the Pokémon GO game is what we will be concentrating on. Users are trying their best to “catch them all” or at least the Pokémon they really want. As a result, they are constantly moving around in the real world, staying up in the twilight hours of the night, traversing the land in the chilliest of cold weather or the most humid of hot weather, just for Pikachu, Squirtle, or any of the other 75 Pokémon available in the game (there is no word about the other Pokémon introduced in the series in newer seasons).
Gizmodo actually collected a plethora of tweets from Twitter of Pokémon GO users who are commenting on how sore their legs are. Some of them thanked the game for helping them achieve their daily dose of exercise while others, well, complained.
My legs are sore from too much pokemon go
— Beefy Doom (@WinnerOfLife7) July 9, 2016
My feet and legs are so sore from Pokemon go today. I got an hour of sleep but I took over a gym and gained 5 levels so it was pretty good
— Nalana (@nxlana) July 9, 2016
I’d say today was a productive day. Walked for 2hrs, caught 20 something pokemon & ended up w/ sore legs&feet #PokemonGO
— Yuri Chang (@MissyYuri) July 8, 2016
The attached tweets above are just some of literally hundreds and hundreds of tweets from Pokémon GO users saying something about walking, biking, or running for so and so hours and getting sore legs. To be frank, many doctors, especially those who specialize in children’s health, are praising the game. This is surely true for those who live in the United States because of the shocking obesity rates we have, not just among adults, but among children. The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention provided information on said childhood obesity in which about 12.7 million children and adolescents, aged up to 19 years (with a minimum age of two), suffer from obesity. It is far worse for adults, as one-out-of-three adults are obese with the actual number being 78.6 million. As a matter of fact, adult obesity is linked to medical costs of about $147 billion in 2008 alone.
Ultimately, the “side affect” of Pokémon GO may actually be one more Americans may need. And to be frank, this news pertaining to Pokémon GO itself is a welcome change since much of the news that has been reported recently is of a negative nature such as thieves using the game to lure unsuspecting users into theft, or how a user found a dead body thanks to playing the game.
[Image via The Pokémon Company Promotions for Pokémon GO]