Health Benefits

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There have been a number health benefits discussed about Pokemon Go which, given that we are discussing an industry that has been blamed for play a role in obesity in children:

Obesity in Children and Technology

According to a review in Obesity in 2012, a lot of screen time may increase obesity risk.

An increase in exposure to technology goes hand in hand with a decrease in physical activity

As The Pokemon Go craze: Sure, it’s taken over, but is it a friend or foe? Highlights:

If we want to pass judgment on whether it’s good or bad, we need to do it in the context of what it replaces. If these people were previously staring at a screen indoors and by themselves, then this is a little more human. If they were all outside having a picnic and talking, then it’s a little less. My guess is that we’re looking more at the former.

So that’s pretty impressive for a computer game to buck this trend… for it then to be compared to policy makers and their efforts to get kids out and about… that’s AMAZING!


Health Benefits – Digital Addiction
While there is research, reports and comments about the positive physical and mental health benefits of Pokemon Go, there are new health concerns such as digital addiction.

The tech and gaming industry attracts top talent and the industry also learns from the gambling industry. So while having to walk 5k to hatch that lucky egg might play a role in addressing child obesity, having to have the app open for the duration of the 5k walk may perpetuate other gaming concerns like screen time.

The gambling industry today is fueled by some of the smartest people, they hire mathematicians, computer scientists, game designers, and psychologists because they want to addict you.

I’m not saying games are inherently addictive, but you can get addicted to any repeated behavior. They know how to do design these games through the research led by the gambling industry.

 raian-aliThere is the potential of such tools to create an immersive medium where students may neglect their mental and even physiological wellbeing trying to achieve goals and gain recognition. Recent cases reported by media on the harm associated with the obsessive and addictive usage of social networks and online games could be used to argue that the digital space design is, at least partially, responsible of facilitating an impaired decision making and deviant behaviour.  Pokémon Go, while expanding the potential for immersion and attraction, introduces additional set of risks related to presence in the physical space as well. Such a design should go through a proper testing and risk assessment process which we do not seem to deal with as a first priority in gaming industry Raian Ali | Principal Academic in Computing | Bournemouth University


Health Benefits Extracts & Insights

Pokemon Go Is Having an Unexpected Effect on Players’ Mental Health

A 2015 study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciencesfound that a small group of people who walked around in nature for 90 minutes showed a reduction in negative thinking.

Five Ways Pokemon GO Is Actually Good For You

it’s remarkable just how much of a motivator the game is for getting out and walking around

The first eggs you get require you to walk 2 km or 5 km for incubation to complete.

I hate walking. I have a FitBit, but even my competitive nature doesn’t get me to the higher step counts. I enjoy podcasts while walking but will still put it off. But hatching Pokemon eggs? I’ve already hatched three this weekend

It sounds clichéd, but a wide range of studies suggest that breathing outside air—as long as it’s not polluted—may improve your mood and health

a Yale study found that students’ test scores increased when they spent more time outside, and the difference appeared related to better air quality.

Again, for all the moaning that technology is driving people apart and making us more anti-social, I met and spoke to more new Peorians this weekend than probably the past few years of living here

Turns out Pokemon GO is unexpectedly great for mental health

“In the times since I’ve had the app I’ve been out just walking way more than normally would. It’s made me feel really good,” says Alex Tullet, a young game designer with anxiety and depression.

“There are definite mental health benefits to playing games,” says Dr Greg Wadley, a lecturer in computer science at University of Melbourne who specialises in technology for mental health and wellbeing.

“That way of taking a break and letting the mind think about something different is better than smoking cigarettes or drinking alcohol which is what lot of people do to de-stress.”

The Science Behind How Pokemon Go Became the Most Viral App Ever

A mirror neuron is a brain cell that fires not only when you do something, but when you see someone else doing it. When you’re chasing Pokemon and people are laughing and smiling around you, the mirror neurons in your brain that relate to laughing and smiling fire, too, stimulating the release of hormones like oxytocin that make you feel connected.

Pokemon Go might seem like just a fun little app, but it has pretty profound connections to your body, psychology and brain. Those links undoubtedly are contributing to the viral status of the game to some degree.


Check out the DigCit PLN’s “Health Benefits” Collection here

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