University of Leicester researchers reveal positive impact of Pokémon Go on obesity

25 July 2016 (Last Updated July 25th, 2016 18:30)

Researchers from the University of Leicester, England, have revealed that the craze for the smartphone game Pokémon Go can serve as a latest solution to challenges associated with growing obesity levels and chronic disease.

Researchers from the University of Leicester, England, have revealed that the craze for the smartphone game Pokémon Go can serve as a latest solution to challenges associated with growing obesity levels and chronic disease.

Pokémon Go, a virtual reality treasure hunt, makes millions of players worldwide walk to places within the real world to catch, train and battle monsters that appear on their mobile phone screens.

Leicester Diabetes Centre University of Leicester physical activity, sedentary behaviour and health reader Dr Tom Yates said: “Recent figures suggest five million people in England are at high risk of developing Type II diabetes, which is largely associated with physical inactivity obesity.

“If there is something out there getting people off the sofa and pounding the streets then this game could be an innovative solution for rising obesity levels.”

The mobile app was initially launched in the US, Australia and New Zealand, and has currently been introduced in the UK, Canada and Japan, among other countries.

As suggested by the UK Department of Health, adults should focus on being active every day by involving in moderate exercises for at least 150 minutes or 2.5 hours over a week in sessions of ten minutes or more.

"If there is something out there getting people off the sofa and pounding the streets then this game could be an innovative solution for rising obesity levels."

This can help reduce blood sugar and insulin levels.

A study conducted last year at the Leicester Diabetes Centre also revealed that taking breaks in between prolonged periods of sitting is essential for people with sedentary lifestyles.

The study was led by the university researchers working for the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Leicester-Loughborough Diet, Lifestyle and Physical Activity Biomedical Research Unit (BRU).

The research demonstrated that women could prevent developing Type II diabetes by regularly standing up or walking.


Image: The login screen for the Pokémon Go game. Photo: courtesy of Eduardo Woo.