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Anything to catch ‘em all.

Morgan Goldberg
October 28, 2016

The fact that Charizard was summer buzzword still boggles our minds. As does the fact that a group of diners at Noma played Pokémon Go for their entire meal and Rene Redzepi tweeted about it. The virtual game even influenced players’ restaurant choices. So we really should not be surprised that a recent study found that Pokémon Go led Americans to take an estimated 144 billion more steps than they otherwise would have during the first month of its release.

According to researchers at Microsoft and Stanford University, the game was a serious kick in the pants to lazy gamers. By analyzing information from more than 30,000 users of the Microsoft Band fitness tracker and tracking their internet search queries, the researchers identified 1,420 people who were Band users and Pokémon Go players. Over a 30-day period, average players increased their activity by 192 steps per day, while very engaged (obsessed) players increased their activity by an average of 1,473 steps per day. Extrapolating these findings out to the 25 million Pokémon Go players in the U.S. gets us that staggering 144 billion steps figure.

The researchers believe that people who take an additional 1,000 steps a day can expect to extend their lifespans by 41 days. If all 25 million players got up to that level and stayed there, that’s 2.8 million additional years of life. Because of Pokémon Go. Our minds are officially boggled.