Pokemon Go is Good!Created by:
First and foremost, Pokémon Go is getting younger (and older) people out of the house and moving around. This offers a huge potential benefit for the health of the population.
Researchers have demonstrated time and time again that a sedentary lifestyle is detrimental for a number of health parameters.
A study published in 2012, for instance, concluded: "Sedentary time is associated with an increased risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cardiovascular and all-cause mortality."
Another, published in 2015, found that long periods of sitting, regardless of fitness level, had a negative impact on health. The researchers concluded: "Prolonged sedentary time was independently associated with deleterious health outcomes regardless of physical activity."
In that respect, Pokémon Go could have a very positive impact. If millions are walking farther than they normally would, on a daily basis, that has the potential to produce a significant benefit to public health.
Other than the cardiovascular benefits of a swift stroll, being coerced into the great outdoors has other potential perks.
A meta-analysis, published in the journal Mental Health and Physical Activity in 2012, concluded that, although evidence from randomized, controlled trials is limited, "walking has a statistically significant, large effect on the symptoms of depression in some populations."
Major depressive disorder affects an estimated 14.8 million American adults. Even ifPokémon Go only tempts a small number of these individuals outside, it could produce a significant upswing in their mental health.
Anecdotally, other Pokémon Go players have reported the benefits of interacting with people they would have never otherwise spoken to. Modern society has a tendency to minimize the amount of human contact we have. For some, an isolated life is no concern. Others, however, can feel lonely.
A British study, published in 2012, titled "Social isolation, loneliness, and all-cause mortality in older men and women," concluded that "mortality was higher among more socially isolated and more lonely participants." After controlling for demographic factors and baseline health, social isolation remained a significant predictor of mortality.