ByKen McDonnell, writer at
Now Loading's sentimental Irishman. I can't stop playing Overwatch, please send help.
Ken McDonnell

Whether it be helping you discover a partner for life, bringing you closer to your community or aiding in the prevention of suicide in this small town in Japan, the benefits of Pokemon GO have been well documented. And they just keep on coming.

However, the latest news regarding the benefits of the mobile sensation won't just impact a small majority of the devoted Pokemon GO players, it'll have an effect on them all―provided they keep playing the game for years to come.

Devoted Pokemon GO Players Could Be Adding Days to Their Lives

Microsoft and Stanford University researchers came together recently to explore some of the long term benefits of playing a video game that requires users to get up and explore their local areas. Their findings concluded that Pokemon GO “added a total of 144 billion steps,” collectively, to people’s daily step count. This boils down to an extra 192 steps per day. That doesn't seem like a lot, but if we add it up the resulted health benefits are astounding.

Assuming that players aged from 15 to 49 continued participating at this rate for the remainder of their lives―walking more is something we should all consider―“this would be associated with 41.4 days of additional life expectancy,” the researchers calculated. Imagine it, people. If we went out of our way and walked an additional 200 steps a day we could actually add longevity to our lives on this little planet of ours. Imagine what you could accomplish with an additional month!

Now, it's unlikely that we'll see the Pokemon GO craze last until we're all in the Winter of our lives―though plenty of other augmented reality games could take its place―but where the 25 million people who reportedly play the game regularly in the United States to maintain their current level of engagement, “this would translate to 2.825 million years additional life added to US users.” That is a massive number when you consider we're talking about a little video game here. But it's an indication of how exercise benefits us all.

How Did They Find This Stuff Out?

The study was conducted over a 30 day trial period and involved 32,000 Pokemon GO players. The researchers tracked their movements via the accelerometers in their Microsoft Brands. They then compared their movements with that of a control group of 50,000 regular Microsoft Brand wearers, ultimately uncovering that the trainers hiked an additional “equivalent to walking around the equator 2,724 times or 143 round trips to the moon,” in sum. See what we can all accomplish together?

Now, it'd be absurd to think that Pokemon GO will actually have millions of Americans living longer. After all, we've seen the player count drop on numerous occasions since the title's launch. However, this study indicates that augmented reality games could have a huge impact on our lives should they continue to be this popular. Obviously we should all be considering incorporating more walks into our daily lives anyway, but the enjoyment gamers and non-gamers derive from catching mons is far more likely to push us to do so.

Researchers were ultimately optimistic about the results. With obesity threatening millions of lives across the world and a lack of exercise impeding on our health, games like Pokemon GO could actually impact on society in really meaningful ways.

This research is an encouraging first stab at investigating the large potential impact that activity-encouraging games could have on society.

Now that's some great news, right there!

How often do you play Pokemon GO?

Source: [FORTUNE]


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