The BMJ, once known as the British Medical Journal, has published a new paper studying the global Pokemon Go phenomenon and has discovered that physical activity increased at first but was not sustained after six weeks. Over 1800 participants between 18 and 35 from the US took part using an iPhone 6 app to count daily steps.
Prior to the test, the average number of steps between participants and non-participants showed no significant difference. After installing the app, the gap widens greatly in the first week (+955 more steps per day). As the weeks went on, the gap closed again until, once again, there was no significant difference. The study took into account a large number of variables to arrive at these conclusions.
The authors write: “Our results indicate that the health impact of Pokémon GO might be moderate. Even if smaller amounts of physical activity might also be important for health outcomes, the increase in steps from Pokémon GO, as with many physical activity interventions, was not sustained over time.”
In an accompanying video, senior author Eric Rimm, says: "What we found were exciting new findings that over a 6 week period you can do a lot to increase physical activity, we just have to be more creative about finding ways to get people to keep exercising.”
You can see the summary video below or check out the full Pokemon Go study article at BMJ.