Faculty of Health

Researchers examine how Pokémon GO influences approach to activity

Researchers at the University of Tasmania want to know just how much the social gaming phenomenon Pokémon GO has influenced our approach to physical activity.

Pokémon GO gaming participants are being sought to be a part of the research study which will examine how the augmented reality game impacts on health-related behaviours.

Faculty of Health PhD student Gemma Mitchell is wanting to know what factors influence a person’s decision to play - for example, is it because they are competitive or is it because they can be active with other family members.

The research project is looking at what extent people are interested in playing the game to boost their activity levels, and how does the game contribute to their feelings of social connectedness.

“The use of technology in our health and wellbeing is a huge growth area, and through mobile applications like Pokémon GO and Facebook we want to know how these influence our attitudes towards exercise,” Mrs Mitchell said.

Mrs Mitchell is undertaking a second study, looking more broadly at the use and attitudes towards mobile applications both generally and for physical activity.

“Through both studies we want to look at how these types of media effect people,” she said.

“Beyond understanding whether there are positive or negative effects of use we can also start to identify how we may encourage the use of such media in order to improve outcomes, including physical outcomes such as greater exercise or psychological benefits.”

People interested in being a part of either study are invited to answer a short survey.  For experiences using Pokémon Go visit http://www.surveymonkey.com/r/PokemonGo_CatchEm, or for attitudes towards mobile applications visit www.surveymonkey.com/r/PhonesandPA