Pokemon Go is taking the world by storm, and with it are hundreds of teens and adults with sore legs from three to four hours of continuous play. So the question must be asked, is this a good alternative for kids to get exercise?
I was shocked to see around 65-70 people aging 5-35 walk around our local pond with their faces buried in their phones. Everyone I passed by had one thing in common, Pokemon. If your not familiar with the game, it’s based on a popular TV show during which the main characters collect animals called pokemon and train them to become companions and eventually competitors in an olympic-like battle arena. The game uses the GPS signal on your phone to create common locations for battle arenas, hot spots to get free loot, and while you’re walking around, pokemon randomly appear to be caught by you, the trainer.
It’s an ingenious idea that will, no doubt, take over both the gaming world and may even replace Facebook as a primary marketing tool since hot-spots are often local memorials or businesses that must be visited to get your free virtual gear.
But on to the fitness portion. This is a real-time game that requires the user to actually go somewhere to advance…and I must say, it’s quite addictive. I took my six and four year old sons for a test drive and after an hour of walking around the neighborhood, they just kept wanting to play.
So what’s our verdict? This can be a good game for more lifestyle activity as long as you keep moving. My six and four year old stared at the screen and walked at 1/4 their normal pace. If you can rely on the vibrating alert of your phone, you could get in some serious walking. The second thing to consider is neck posture. If you play this game like you text, you will be in for some major neck trouble. If you hold the screen up in front of your eyes (which is how you should be texting anyway), you can limit the amount of bad neck posture and have a much better time.
All in all, we give this a positive review for a way to spice up your walks and potentially get already game-addicted teens to move a little more.