Doctors OK “Pokémon Go” To Stay Active & Offer Safety Tips


The Pokempokemongo-exerciseon Go App that some say is expected to take over Twitter for popularity, is getting people to exercise more than just their thumbs. Pokémon Go, the augmented reality app taking the nation by storm this week, is motivating more and more people to walk and get active. Players of the game are on the go: searching their communities, office buildings and neighborhoods for the hidden cartoon characters. In the process of playing a game, people are also staying fit.

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Whether the activity was planned or the unexpected byproduct of the latest plugged-in fad, Group Health physicians say using the app is great way to stay healthy, get fit, and spend time outside.

pokemongo-exercise“One challenge to exercising is boredom. The ability to search and find as many as 150 exotic and powerful monsters is having a great appeal,” said Dr. Jessie Fudge, a Group Health physician and specialist in Activity, Sports and Exercise Medicine. “With obesity and inactivity growing epidemics with significant consequences, the need to find ways to get off the couch and away from the computer to exercise is critical. If you or your kids like video or cell phone games and are looking for walking motivation, this just might be it.”

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Fudge would much rather spy people playing Pokémon on the street than injured in the clinic. She offers the following tips to stay safe and avoid injury.

Tips for safe Pokémon Go playing:

  • Follow real world rules and focus on your surroundings.
  • Don’t play this game in a moving vehicle, including bike, rollerblades, hoverboard or skate board.  Walk, run and have fun!
  • Don’t Drive and Pokémon Go. That is unsafe and it removes the activity component.
  • If you are not an active person at baseline, limit the time spent on this activity for the first couple of days.
  • Work into this activity slowly. Gradually increase your distance/time with each game session.