Pokémon Go is encouraging children to play outside and is improving their fitness, according to prominent GP Dr Margaret McCartney, writing in the British Medical Journal.
The augmented reality app requires players to go outside and hunt for creatures to capture. Dr McCartney said that this was behind a resurgence in children playing, and therefore exercising, outside.
She explained: "The possibilities for apps to make the streets an active, reclaimed playground in which to have interconnected fun are boundless. Increased physical activity is a tantalising side effect."
She also emphasised that although there have been many reports in the media about the negative effects of the game, incidents such as teenagers getting lost while ‘Pokémon hunting’ are the exception rather than the norm.
“We never hear about the things that didn’t happen,” she said. “The heart attacks prevented through more exercise, or the vitamin D deficiency that geeks have avoided, blinking in the sunlight while catching a Pikachu monster.”
A specific benefit of the game is that it is not targeted at people who are particularly health-conscious, she added.
Dr McCartney said: "Health apps also tend to be attractive to people who want to get healthy. The good thing about Pokémon Go is it is not aimed at people who want to walk, but those who are excited by playing games.”