A new research study conducted by the British Medical Journal has found that Pokemon Go does increase its players’ physical activity levels, but that falls off as players tend to lose interest in the game. The research examined the period between August 1 and August 31st, just a month after the game released. The sample size was 1,182 individuals who provided screenshot data of their steps taken so it could be compared with people who don’t play the game.
Researchers found that within the first week of installation, a Pokemon Go player’s step activity is much higher than someone who doesn’t play the game. However, as the weeks draw on and enthusiasm for the game wanes, their steps become more in line with those of people who don’t play the game. What’s interesting is that despite Pokemon Go players slowly becoming less active, they’re still slightly more active than those who don’t play, at least for a few weeks.
It’s important to note that the study was only conducted with iPhone users and not Android, since the iPhone 6 has a built-in pedometer. Researchers found that after the sixth week of having the game installed, Pokemon Go player’s activity level had returned to the pre-installation levels. This means the impact of Pokemon Go on someone’s physical activity is pretty reliant on whether or not they’re playing the game and enthusiasm for it seems to have worn off after just a month.
I’d be interested to see a study done after each update and improvement that Niantic does with the game, since the Pokemon Go that we have today certainly isn’t the same Pokemon Go that researchers were studying back in August.