In the winter of 1996, a game called Pokémon allowed people of all ages to catch, train, and trade 151 creatures and rise to the top to become a Pokémon master. Fast forward 20 years, and the game has resurfaced in new form. The Pokémon Go app came out just a few weeks ago, and is once again, incredibly popular. The game uses GPS and the phone camera to direct players to creatures that players much catch. There are multiple levels and features that encourage players to catch ‘em all!

Pokémon players are walking miles a day and even complaining of sore legs from the increased exercise while hunting. Many people are also experiencing mental health benefits due to the social contact and increased Vitamin D absorption from being outside. There have even been new relationships from the game. Pokémon Go also engages players to learn about their surroundings. PokéStops encourage people to learn about their local environment and are usually around local monuments and buildings.

Although there are some benefits from this game, there are also some safety concerns. Selective attention poses a potential threat when players are not aware of their surroundings. There are also some technologically advanced people who used the game to lure and rob unsuspecting players. There have even been cases of people playing while behind the wheel, making for a very dangerous distraction on the road. Below are some safety tips for Pokémon Go players. It is possible to be a Pokémon master and be safe at the same time!

Safety Tips for Pokémon Go Players

  1. Stay away from private property
  2. Beware of “lure modules”, which thieves have exploited to rob people
  3. Don’t play while driving
  4. Be aware of your surroundings while walking and playing
  5. Don’t ‘Pokemon Go’ alone

Sources: WebMD, Lifework Strategies, and Adventist HealthCare. The Health Tip of the Week is for educational purposes only. For additional information, consult your physician. Please feel free to copy and distribute this health resource.