Pokémon GO’s health benefits were only temporary, says new study

Pokemon GO and Pokemon GO Plus wearable

Pokémon GO’s fitness benefits have been overstated.

According to a new study published last week in the British Medical Journal, the popular augmented reality game only had a temporary impact on the fitness level and health of its players.

The study, conducted during a period of six weeks after the game’s release last July, looked at 1,000 individuals between the ages of 18 and 35 who played the game extensively post-release. The study found that while Pokémon GO helped players dramatically increase their physical activity level initially, after a few short weeks most players were back to whatever their fitness level was before they started playing the game.

“There was a decline, and it came back to pre-baseline levels after just six weeks,” said Jean-Philippe Chaput, a research scientist at the Hospital of Eastern Ontario, in an interview with the CBC. “So yes, it worked for the first week, but then after a month and a half, people were not walking more or moving more.”

According to Chaput, it’s “no surprise” Pokémon GO didn’t have a lasting effect on the health of most of its players.

To its credit, Niantic, the game’s developer, hopes to get players back outside this summer. The studio has a new content update as well as both in-game and real-world events planned for the game’s one-year anniversary.