I am sure you are all aware of this craze that has swept the nation and in fact the world. People wandering around with their phones in search of the ever elusive Pikachu and co. You may have also heard the occasional headline like; ‘Gridlock around Central park’ caused by the Pokémon rush, people falling down holes in the woods while trying to ‘catch them all’.
All hilarious stories I think you will agree, but let’s look at the big picture of what’s happening here.
At the Buckingham Clinic we are an open minded bunch. We know that there have been a number of blunders; cars crashing because the drivers are on their phones playing Pokémon, Pokémon appearing at funerals and in museums etc., people trespassing on private property and so on.
As with all things there is also a flip side to this. And ever the optimists we have decided to focus on the benefits.
In short, What can Pokémon Go do for you?
Well, for one thing there are dogs the world around that have never heard the term ‘walkies’ so much in all their lives! People who have habitually sat in front of televisions or game consoles and glued to screens are now out and about. Yeeeeeees they are still on their phones but at least they are upright and walking instead of sitting and eating. The other day I saw a group of lads about 13-15 years of age walking in the park! Gasp, shock, Amaze! Shouldn’t they be inside playing Fifa!? Nope, Pokémon Go for the win! In fact, they may even learn something about their neighbourhood as many ‘Pokestops’ are local historical places or points of interest.
Proposed updates such as the new ‘Pokémon Buddy’, are set to boost the exercise component of the game by allowing players to pick a Pokémon to walk alongside them to accumulate candy. Now, that last sentence made no sense to anyone who doesn’t refer to themselves as a ‘pokémaster’. In short it’s an incentive for players to go out and walk about.
As we know, or should know given how often we are told it, exercise is good for us. It serves to strengthen muscles, lubricate the joints, boost circulation, improve mental health, offset the effects of aging and even aid digestion! The evidence accumulated in favour of exercise is monumental and we can see the benefit that it has in both the long and short term. So regardless of whether someone has eyes on their phone or not, if they are up and walking about they are at least doing right by their bodies.
One of the main causes of poor health is a sedentary lifestyle. You used to always hear medical professionals advocating breaking up your work day by going for a walk during your lunch hour, well now go for a ‘Pokéwalk’. A prevalent issue in today’s society is childhood obesity, a massive contributor to this is again lack of exercise. Well, send them out on a ‘Pokéwalk’. Plenty of middle aged adults begin to develop problems with the circulation through their legs or issues with their heart due to lack of exercise. Well, (you guessed it!) go for a ‘Pokéwalk’!
One of the highest causes of admission to hospital for older adults is reduced mobility and falls due mainly to lack of activity. So in theory, setting your older Aunt or your Grandparents up with Pokémon Go could actually serve to enhance their health and quality of life!
To that end, if someone wants to run around in the woods looking for a Snorlax, I say, just let him! Especially if that person happens to be me…