Health Benefits of Pokemon
July 27, 2016 | by Rebecca Cronin MD, FAAP, CLE

Gotta catch ‘em all!” is the saying that’s taking over in the mobile app world. By now you’ve probably heard of Pokémon Go, an augmented-reality mobile app for iOS and Android devices that has more than 75 million downloads worldwide since its release earlier this month. But are there benefits to the game outside of spending hours trying to catch the 151 Pokémon characters?


5 Health Tips When Playing Pokémon Go

  1. Walk to New Places. The Pokémon Go game uses GPS and camera features (optional) on your mobile device to show where Pokémon, PokeStops and PokeGyms are near your location. This requires you to physically go outside and walk around to catch Pokémon. While getting in your extra steps, vary up your destination. Explore a new park or visit a different neighborhood. Spending time outdoors can help symptoms of anxiety and depression, according to multiple research studies. You can find new Pokémon to catch, and experience new surroundings!
    Tip: Use a Fitbit or tracking device to track your activity level when playing the game.
  2. Play With Family and Friends. Why not join your children and make Pokémon Go a family activity? Or gather your friends together and walk around the neighborhood. Pokémon Go encourages people to become socially interactive in-person and online. Many gamers share their progress on Facebook and Twitter. In the end the game is FUN, so why not make it a friendly competition to bond with fellow “Pokemaniacs”? You might even make some new friends walking around town.
  3. Mix in Other Activities. Pokémon Go shouldn’t be your only activity during the day. Limit your Pokémon Go craze to 30 minutes to an hour daily. Mix in other activities after a successful stint of catching Pokémon with jog or shooting hoops with friends.
  4. Keep Sleep a Priority. Most importantly, make sure the game doesn’t interfere with your sleep schedule. Our sleep medicine specialists recommend turning off all electronics two hours before bed time.
  5. Keep Track of Data. Not only does a time limit get your eyes off the phone, it might also help your wallet. Playing Pokémon Go can eat into your mobile data usage, and if you have a shared data plan, it might be good to give yourself and your children a time limit so you don’t receive extra charges on your bill at the end of the month.

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