Most people in their 20's and 30's remember Pokemon as a cartoon based off a concept originating as a form of Japanese anime in the late 90's. While young adults may find themselves reminiscing about the days of trading cards and partaking in battles as children, the game has the main focus of encouraging an increasingly obese population to get off the couch and get moving.
To put the current obesity epidemic in perspective, more than two-thirds of the general adult population is presently overweight in the United States. Furthermore, this figure will only trend upwards as the younger generations are developing bad eating habits and performing less physical activity as time goes on.
Pokemon Go is meant to cater to the younger generations by mixing their cell phone usage obsession with a positive activity that will allow them to be active.
In just over a week's time we have seen numerous headlines proclaiming some of the dangers associated with Pokemon Go. People have walked into traffic, off cliffs, and into treacherous neighborhoods.
The massive craze sweeping the nation has quickly put this game ahead of such popular apps as Tinder, Yelp, and even Snapchat. It has even made Nintendo's stock skyrocket 35% in just a few day's time.
While this app has respectable intentions it just may possibly be one of the least effective forms of exercise available. Let's take a look at why Pokemon Go is simply one of the worst forms of physical activity to participate in.
Pokemon Go. People have walked into traffic, off cliffs, and into treacherous neighborhoods.
Why Pokemon Go is Dangerous Exercise
#1 - Dangerous to playPokemon Go is essentially a GPS based phone application game where people attempt to collect Pokemon from different points to later use them for battling nearby opponents. However, most people are incapable of multi-tasking and may wind up getting into car accidents, walking into oncoming traffic, or getting mugged as a result of playing this game.
The number of injuries and deaths resulting from this game figures to rise substantially with the increased amount of downloads in the upcoming weeks.
#2 - Burns few caloriesGenerally the user playing Pokemon Go will be moving at a slow rate of speed due to the fact that mentally they are navigating their phone while walking simultaneously. Over the course of a mile walked in 30 minutes the user will likely burn 50-100 Calories.
While this is slightly better than performing no exercise at all, one would be better suited riding a bike, jogging at the beach, or simply walking at regular pace. You would be better off playing one of those dancing video games than risking your life for the sole purpose of burning the caloric equivalent of half a slice of bread.
#3 - Mentally unstimulatingPokemon Go requires people to simply walk around press a button to catch a Pokemon. The amount of mental cognition required to partake in this game is barely more than changing a channel on the television.
If the game required some type of higher skill level or adaptive settings it could serve the dual purpose of improving brain function while concurrently encouraging physical activity.
#4 - It's a trendTrends, fads, or overhyped products typically peak in popularity over a very short period of time but fade away just as quickly. Pokemon Go attempts to grab the attention of adults by appealing to their youthful past while allowing them to justify playing the game as a form of exercise.
If we follow along these same lines one could just as easily justify other common activities as exercise such as grocery shopping, bar hopping, and going to the mall. Instead of focusing on current trends people should stick to fundamental basics that have been proven to work over time.
Progressive resistance training, moderate cardio, and a solid diet will never fail people that are consistent with their progress and focused on reaching their goals.
#5 - People may play in lieu of actual exercisePeople that regularly go to the gym or engage in some form of physical activity may discontinue their current routine to focus on Pokemon Go. They may find themselves justifying the game as a sufficient form of exercise and skip out on the gym.
Pokemon Go is the latest trend in the app world and fitness culture. By tugging upon the nostalgic emotions of young adults they are able to captivate the attention of users everywhere by appealing to their childhood memories.
Unfortunately several more people will fall victim to injury and potential death before the game fades away faster than the ALS ice bucket challenge and that damn Daniel kid with the white vans.
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