A recent study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association found that players that regularly engage with Pokémon GO are likely to be healthier than those do not. Specifically, the study cites the Physical Activity necessary to achieve certain goals in the game as a main contributor towards its health benefits.

To see if Pokémon GO has an impact on player health, the study took a look at a handful of volunteers both before the popular mobile game released and after. And what was found is that, on average, Pokémon GO players tallied upwards of 2,000 extra steps per day, and sometimes even 10,000 steps per day.

By playing Pokémon GO, an individual could walk nearly 2000 additional steps per day and is more likely to achieve a goal of 10 000+ steps per day, especially among those who spend more time playing Pokémon GO and those who are overweight/obese or have a lower baseline PA level. Games such as Pokémon GO may provide an alternative way to adopt an active lifestyle for persons who play them regularly.

The study is quite comprehensive, but the main takeaway is the increase in daily steps. Those who are curious to read the full findings can do so at the Journal of the American Heart Association’s official site.

With the incentives built into Pokémon GO, which require traveling to Pokestops or walking to hatch eggs, the mobile game encourages a lot more physical activity. But what makes the game so unique is that those hooks seem to be compelling enough that players actually want to do the physical activity involved.

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It’s that combination of the physical activity necessary to participate in the game and the compulsion felt by those mechanics that make Pokémon GO such a useful tool for those looking to be a little healthier. Obviously, Pokémon GO isn’t going to completely change someone’s lifestyle or help someone lose weight all by itself, but it can be a great starting point according to the study. More physical activity/exercise is likely a reason that Pokemon GO players are friendly and happy, according to a different study.

While the popularity of Pokémon GO has declined since its launch last year, many continue to come back to the mobile for special events. Early last month, for example, developer Niantic hosted Adventure Week, a Rock-type event where players were more likely to find that type of Pokémon in the wild.

But perhaps Pokémon GO’s biggest event is on the horizon, with the promise of a legendary release and PvP battles coming this summer. It’s unclear how extensive the summer event will be, but many are hoping that Niantic will pull out all of the stops to celebrate the one-year anniversary of Pokémon GO. On top of that, the event will offer the added bonus of a little daily exercise.

Pokémon GO is available now for iOS and Android.

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