Two separate academic reports suggest that playing Pokémon GO can be good for both physical and mental health (provided that you manage to avoid car crashes and stay away from landmines).

New research by Tokyo University says that players report significantly reduced stress levels, which could have positive effects on mental health. The study was published in Nature (via CNET).

From the results of the general linear modeling, improvement in psychological distress was significantly greater among Pokémon GO players than among non-players […]

Pokémon GO may be effective for improving psychological distress among workers. Although its effect size is small, the game could have positive effects on the mental health of the adult working population.

The paper says that while the effect is small, the cumulative effect on the population as a whole could be substantial.

Pokémon GO might not have a visible impact on psychological distress on an individual-basis, but it could have a critical impact on public health, affecting the whole population, because of its tremendous popularity.

The study follows previous academic research suggesting that physical health is also improved by playing the game as it encouraged increased exercise, as CNET notes.

As the game requires you to comb the streets to hunt for Pokemon, it’s been found to raise the physical activity level of many players. Particularly keen PokeHunters boosted their step count by 26 percent over the course of a month, which lowers the risk of heart attack or stroke in high-risk people,

However, the authors of this study noted that this tended to tail off after a few months.

Previous studies have indicated that an increase in physical activity was no longer observable after several months. The association in the long term could not be determined.

If you want to meet up with other players, as well as have the chance to capture some rare Pokémon, there are some upcoming festivals in Europe and Scandinavia.

Photo: Lifewire


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