Fitness trackers report 53% average increase in daily steps due to Pokemon Go

"Pokemon Go," the augmented reality app that has users running around trying to catch these characters in their neighborhoods, has spurred many users to get up, out and moving. Data from fitness trackers and apps on the smartphones used to capture Pokemon indicate just how much more active some players have become, reports The Washington Post.

"Pokemon Go" was developed by Niantic and was released July 6. According to Cardiogram, an app for Apple Watch that analyzes heart rate data, 45 percent of users were exercising for at least 30 minutes a day on the release date. Two days later, 50 percent of users were exercising for at least 30 minutes a day, and that number hit 53 percent the next day, according to The Washington Post.

While Cardiogram can't distinguish who was actually playing "Pokemon Go," co-founder Brandon Ballinger told The Washington Post it's a noticeable population-level affect. He likened the increase to the jump in exercise activity in the first week of January which starts to decline by the second week.

Jawbone has also reported an increase in the number daily steps taken by those wearing Jawbone's UP fitness tracker. Those who wear the fitness tracker can interact and communicate with others on the app. Analyzing data from the group of users who mentioned "Pokemon Go" in comments, Jawbone found these people were walking 62.5 percent more than usual, according to the report.

Mike Caldwell, co-founder of activity tracker app Pacer, told The Washington Post the "Pokemon Go" craze demonstrates the potential for further innovation in the wearables domain. He said there was a 5 to 10 percent increase in daily steps among Pacer users younger than 30 compared to the week before "Pokemon Go" was released. Like Mr. Ballinger, Mr. Caldwell said they can't directly link the step increase with "Pokemon Go," but the change is still "remarkable."

"There's always been this idea that fitness and gaming could come together and make something special for users, and, frankly, it's been tried by countless apps and companies before," Mr. Caldwell told The Washington Post. "But nobody has ever really broken through to such a mass audience before with such a compelling product. It really just shows that there's still a lot of innovation left to be done in our domain."

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