Pokemon Go and Mental Health

Are you playing Pokemon Go? If you're not, you might start after reading this post! 

Pokemon Go is a new cellphone game that came out in July. It is a free, location-based augmented reality game. The purpose is to travel around your community in search of various Pokemon, train them, and battle with other Pokemon. 

You might be thinking that this is just another reason for us to have our heads buried in our phones. Phone use is indeed central to this game, but the mental and physical health benefits that are coming along with it are also important to note. 

Physical health is targeted as this game requires people to walk around their neighbourhoods and communities to find desired Pokemon. For individuals trying to increase exercise, this can be a great motivator! I have some friends who will go on daily lunch time walks at work in order to catch certain Pokemon. 

There have been many reports of this game positively impacting mental health, too. For someone with symptoms of depression or anxiety, getting out of the house can be challenging. This game can help motivate people to do that. Playing the game also gives people an instant social connection with others, so when exploring your community, you can feel like you are part of something, helping reduce social anxiety and feelings of isolation. Perhaps bonding over the game or developing some friendly competition with co-workers can help improve workplace relationships. 

How else can you take advantage of the mental and physical health benefits that come along with playing Pokemon Go? Let us know in the comments! 

Image credit: www.vice.com