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Pokemon Go can 'significantly' lower stress, study says

Maybe you shouldn't have given it up after all.


Are you feeling stressed? Get out onto the streets and chase after those monsters after work.

Photo by Sean Hollister/CNET

Remember that month you played Pokemon Go last year? It turns out that was a habit you would have done well to keep up with. 

The journey to catch 'em all in Niantic's augmented reality game helps reduce your stress levels and could have "positive effects" on mental health, according to results published Thursday by Tokyo University in Japan.

Results of the latest study were collected from surveys conducted on 3,915 participants in Japan who are working full-time. Pokemon Go players who played the game longer than a month reported having experienced "significantly" reduced stress levels.

"Improvement in psychological distress was significantly greater among Pokémon Go players than among non-players," the team noted.  "Pokémon Go may be effective for improving psychological distress among workers."

Pokemon Go, played by 65 million people each month, turns you into a Pokemon trainer and lets you see and catch pocket monsters as though they're in the real world with the help of your phone's camera and AR technology. It topped the charts around the world upon its July release last year, and had attracted players young and old.

While the game isn't very friendly to your phone's battery life, several studies have emerged showing Pokemon Go to be good for your health. As the game requires you to comb the streets to hunt for Pokemon, it's been found to raise the physical activity level of many players. Particularly keen PokeHunters boosted their step count by 26 percent over the course of a month, which lowers the risk of heart attack or stroke in high-risk people, according to a report presented in March.

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