Pokémon GO now doctor-approved thanks to Tokyo University study
Results of first scientific study into Pokémon GO‘s health benefits reveal game lowers stress levels.
While the health benefits of extra exercise spent frantically searching for Pokémon in the augmented-reality mobile game Pokemon GO have already been confirmed, a new report in the scientific journal Nature‘s Scientific Reports section has found that it can also combat stress. According to the report, full-time workers who played the Niantic-produced game for a month or more reported significantly lower levels of psychological stress than those who didn’t.
Since Pokémon GO‘s psychological effect has so far only been anecdotal (such as a reduction in suicides in Japan shortly after it was released), scientists have completed a study into what effect the game has on mental health. A team from Tokyo University, led by Professor Norito Kawakami, conducted online surveys with 3,915 full-time Japanese workers in the period November 2015 to February 2016, and follow-up surveys in December 2016. Of these, 246 workers (9.7 percent of the total), had continued to play the game for over a month. The workers were all asked to answer a “Brief Job Stress Questionnaire (BJSQ)” to determine their levels of psychological stress in order to assess any changes over the time period, alongside other questions regarding work performance and other factors such as smoking or drinking habits.
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