Although Pokémon GO motivated millions of people around the world to walk more in order to catch, train and battle different types of monsters, this virtual game wasn’t the first to boost the activity levels of both children and adults in a healthy way.
A few years ago, Nintendo’s interactive Wii Fit games also coaxed people to get moving and participate in activities such as bowling, golf and tennis. Now it’s clear there are more games of this kind to come.
Offering virtual cycling and adding illuminated sensors to standard gym fitness programs can create exciting and challenging interactive elements that pump up the health benefits of traditional workouts. One exercise game company makes a bike that prompts gamers to pedal to activate an attached controller so they can play their favorite Xbox games on the equipment.
Research supports the theory that the best cardio workouts get people moving without making them aware they’re exercising. Like its virtual fitness program predecessors, Pokémon GO confirmed this principle.
Says one diabetes researcher about the popular game, “If there is something out there that is getting people off the sofa and pounding the streets, then this game could be an innovative solution for rising obesity levels.”