According to leading diabetes researchers, the new smartphone craze Pokémon Go could prove to be an innovative solution to combat rising obesity levels and chronic disease.
Pokémon Go is a virtual reality treasure hunt that requires players to walk to places within the real world and catch, train and batter monsters that appear on their mobile screens. The app was initially launched in US, Australia and New Zealand but is now available worldwide including UK, Canada and Japan. It is believed that already, the app has more active users than Tinder and Twitter. Millions of people are playing the game.
Dr Tom Yates, a Reader in Physical Activity, Sedentary Behaviour and Health at the University of Leicester based at the Leicester Diabetes Centre, said: "Recent figures suggest five million people in England are at high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, which is largely associated with physical inactivity obesity. If there is something out there which is getting people off the sofa and pounding the streets then this game could be an innovative solution for rising obesity levels."
Dr. Yates highlights that walking is underrated but could be one of the most effective and cheapest form of exercise. It is easy and accessible and can help people stay active and maintain a healthy body. Since obesity is a potent risk factor for diabetes accounting for 80 to 85 percent of the overall risk, Pokémon Go could help reduce this risk. It is recommended that adults should undertake moderate exercise at least 2.5 hours a week to stay healthy.
A study conducted by the Leicester Diabetes Centre also demonstrates the importance of incorporating breaks in prolonged sitting. The findings show that women could prevent developing Type 2 diabetes by regularly walking or standing.
Source: University of Leicester
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