Zi Yan1, Kevin Finn1, Kayla Breton1

1Merrimack College, School of Health Sciences, North Andover, MA, United States

Does it Promote Physical Activity? College Students' Perceptions of Pokémon Go

Monten. J. Sports Sci. Med. 2020, 9(1), 5-10 | DOI: 10.26773/mjssm.200301


The present study examined whether physical activity participation between Pokémon GO users was different from that of non-users. Participants’ perceptions of the game in terms of promoting physical activity were also evaluated. A total of 393 college students (Female=175, age M=19.03, SD=2.04) took an online survey that measured user activity, perceptions on the game, and recalled physical activity participation. The participants were classified as non-users (n=227, 79.1%), non-active users (i.e., playing less than 30 min a day, n=24, 8.4%), and active-users (i.e., playing more than 30 min a day, n=36, 12.5%). Most users agreed that playing the game had a positive impact on their physical activity level. However, the non-active users and the active-users walked significantly less than the non-users did, and the non-users also had higher overall physical activity participation levels. Most Pokémon GO players perceived that the app made them more physically active, although they still walked less than non-players did. There may be pre-existing differences in the physical activity patterns between the users and the non-users. Health promotion professionals may encourage sedentary individuals to use this game to promote physical activity.


college student, exergaming, physical activity, Pokémon GO

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