The American Heart Association recommends that children and adolescents have 60 minutes or more of physical activity each day. Some benefits of physical activity include: weight control, reduced blood pressure, raised HDL (good) cholesterol, decreased risk of diabetes, improved self- confidence, and higher self-esteem. Aerobic activity such as brisk walking should make up most of your child’s 60 minutes or more minutes of physical activity each day.
It is a proven fact that children and adolescents will not participate in physical activity unless it is fun. Some children would rather stay on the couch playing video games or watching television than do any physical activity.
Pokeman Go was released on July 6, 2016. It is estimated that approximately nine to 21 million people, including children and adolescents play Pokeman Go daily. Pokeman Go, a mobile augmented reality game is available through Android and the App store. As part of the digital game players must walk certain distances to hatch”eggs” and collect various Pokemon. Some recent studies have shown that Pokeman Go has motivated children and adolescents to get off the couch, get out in the fresh air, walk around their neighborhoods, increase their physical activity, and sometimes interact with other people. Some parents have also been spending more time outside with their children while they are all playing Pokeman Go.
Other studies believe that Pokeman Go may help adolescents with depression and social anxiety. Adolescents with depression and social anxiety may be motivated by Pokeman Go to go outside, walk and sometimes interact more socially when normally they would stay in the house by themselves.
Safety concerns and Pokemon Go
The benefits of Pokemon Go should not outweigh the importance of safety while playing the game. Children playing Pokeman Go need to remember the importance of not talking to strangers, so I would recommend talking again to your child about “stranger danger.”
Serious Injuries can occur if a child does not pay attention when they are playing Pokeman Go. A child could be so distracted playing Pokeman Go that he/she accidently runs out into a street without looking for cars. A child could also trip or fall down if he/she is totally engrossed in Pokeman Go and does not pay attention to the environment around them. As winter approaches the likelihood of injury can increase due to icy and snow-covered Pokemon hunting grounds. It is a good idea for parents to limit areas where their child can play Pokeman Go alone. And it is highly recommended to supervise children if playing the game near a busy street, in an isolated area or at night.
Some recommended Pokemon Go hunting spots in the Berkshires can be found at berkshires.org. The Mount in Lenox also has several Pokemon living on its property.