Hey, remember Pokémon GO? Remember how for like a month it was literally the only thing people would talk about?

For a brief period, Australia (and the rest of the world) was divided into three distinct groups: people who were playing Pokémon GO, people who had no idea what Pokémon GO was, and people who were apparently furious at all the people that were playing this child’s game for children.

Something of a culture war was caused, as the people who were playing it became very defensive about playing it and the people who weren’t playing it became very defensive about not playing it and, ultimately, the players won out.

How could they not? It was all the in the name of fun and it got people outdoors doing a bit of exercise right? Except it turns out it wasn’t actually all that much exercise.

It Turns Out Pokémon GO Wasn’t Even Really That Great For Your Health

Researchers at Harvard found that while in the first week the average Pokémon GO player added a not too insignificant 955 steps to their daily count (the recommended amount per day is 10,000), those added steps dropped back to zero after about six weeks.

The study followed 560 GO players aged between 18 – 35 and compared their habits with 600 people in the same age bracket who weren’t playing the game at all.

In addition to being temporary, it had the added side effect of increasing your exposure to risky situations thanks to distraction:

“Interventions designed to increase walking typically increase the number of steps by 2,500 daily. Even if smaller amounts of physical activity might also be important for health outcomes, the increase in steps from Pokemon Go, as with many physical activity interventions was not sustained over time.

“Pokémon GO might also entail risks, such as injuries and road traffic incidents.”

Co-author of the study, Katherine Howe, reckons there’s still potential for augmented reality games to get people off the couch, they just have to have more longevity than GO did:

“They give us a reason to go outside, walk and socialise. So I think there is a huge potential to develop these games to not only increase physical activity but also boost mental wellbeing, mood and social interaction for people of all ages.”

Shout out to the people out there still playing Pokémon GO, there’s got to be at least five of you.

Source: BBC.