It turns out that there’s an amazing side effect to joining the ranks of the millions now addicted to Pokmon Go: better health.
Fitness tracker Jawbone UP claims that users of its fitness band who also mentioned that they used Pokmon Go logged a whopping 62.5 percent more steps this weekend compared to their steps taken during a normal weekend.
The spike in steps, roughly 8,375 more than normal, occurred on July 9 and 10, just a few days after the launch of the augmented reality game on July 6.
And although Jawbone can’t guarantee that all Jawbone UP users who mentioned Pokmon Go definitely have the game installed, the early data backs up the flurry of mentions on social media linking Pokmon Go to fitness.
Pokmon go is the best work out I have ever gotten
Joshua Holz (@Josholzz) July 11, 2016
My Jawbone has been yelling at me for not meeting my step goal. Then I joined Pokmon Go… pic.twitter.com/xOXRky7IDz
Caitlin Vanasse (@CaitlinVanasse) July 11, 2016
Bought a Fitbit to track how many calories I burn while searching for Pokemon pic.twitter.com/2e6BpCJJKo
Andrew Talbot (@AndrewTalbot14) July 10, 2016
According to my Fitbit, I burned 408 calories this morning on my hunt for Pokemon
Dani (@DaniRhem) July 12, 2016
Now that it’s becoming clear that Pokmon Go is getting more people to move around and, as a byproduct, improve their health, the next question is whether someone will harness this unexpected game-meets-fitness win.
So far, none of the major fitness trackers such as Jawbone and Fitbit have indicated any plans to cater to Pokmon Go players.
“Not at this time,” said a Jawbone spokesperson when asked if there were plans to create a Pokmon Go-oriented feature, “but we’re certainly always exploring new ideas. We do have an open API so any developer could work with it to create an app integration from their end.”
Nevertheless, the obvious synergy between the game and fitness trackers already has some users openly asking for a solution.
Brenna Williams (@brennawilliams) July 12, 2016
A licensed Pokemon Go Fitbit would sell like crazy right now.
P Scott Patterson (@OriginalPSP) July 12, 2016
Shannon Felder (@Shan_Feld) July 11, 2016
Hopefully (for their sakes), fitness tracker companies will consider the usage trends associated with the app and come up with a solution before Nintendo wises up and decides to turn the Pokmon Go Plus into the fitness tracker it was clearly born to be. (The Bluetooth accessory is already so popular it’s sold out on Amazon.)
The Pokmon Go app currently awards users a “Jogger” medal once they’ve walked at least 10 kilometers (roughly 6.2 miles), and the company already has a history with activity trackers in the form of the Pokwalker, a pedometer released in Japan in 2009. Leaning into this unexpected fitness craze could be a seemingly easy move for the company.
However, despite the buzz around the game’s exercise benefits, no plans for a Nintendo tracker associated with the game have been announced.
In the meantime, users are burning calories while capturing Pokmon and no one seems to mind becoming more fit as long as it means winning the game.
Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.