Too much time indoors isn’t healthy for anyone but that’s why Pokémon Go has bucked a trend to provide computer gaming with some better publicity from medical science. The game has been a roaring success since its release but it also deserves praise for its potential health benefits.
The Great Outdoors
Released in 2016, the basic concept of Pokémon Go requires players to move around a real-world map. As they progress, Pokémon characters appear and when they are in range, the player throws Poke balls in order to catch them.
The aim is to collect as many characters as possible and the nature of that quest encourages players to get involved with friends and a wider social group. That’s an important factor but the main benefit to health and well-being lies in the simple fact that Pokémon Go takes players away from the couch and the darkened rooms and into the great outdoors.
Individual Pokémon can be found in most outdoor locations around the world and on a local level, that could involve the school playground, the park or any place where fresh air and natural light replace the seclusion of our own homes.
The simple fact that players are getting outdoors and engaging in social groups can only be a good thing. That’s a common sense deduction but it’s one that can be backed up by medical science.
What’s it good for?
The benefits of Pokémon Go can come via a range of sources: Firstly, natural daylight and sunshine can boost our vitamin D levels. They do this by converting fatty compounds and it’s been shown that increased levels of this vitamin can help to fight cancer and cardiovascular diseases.
A day hunting Pokémon can also help to set up a daily exercise routine. The World Health Organisation has labelled childhood obesity as a global epidemic and it’s an issue that can lead to diabetes and a host of other problems.Just the physical act of walking can help youngsters to turn a corner and that’s another reason why the Pokémon Go phenomenon should be welcomed.
Good for the Soul
We’ve seen the potential for physical benefits of Pokémon Go but it seems that the game could be beneficial to our mental health too. Depression and even dementia could be under attack here.
After the title was released, a number of players took to social media to outline just how the game was helping them with depression and social anxiety. While anyone suffering should always seek the help of medical professionals, the health benefits of Pokémon Go are evident and for that, we must all welcome it and hope that similar titles follow to give video gaming some better press.