Pokémon Go is one of the most recent and wildly popular smartphone apps, reaching roughly 7 million United States downloaders since its launch on July 5. Aside from its quick gain in users, Pokémon Go is also receiving some notoriety in the news. The app's augmented reality has been said to distract users from their true surroundings and generate safety concerns. There have been incidents involving theft, trespassing and lack of awareness.

Although safety has been an ongoing issue, is Pokémon Go also responsible for getting app users off the couch and interacting with fellow gamers? We took a look at how some of the game's features demonstrate potential health benefits and green qualities.

Pokéstops initiate interactions.

Rather than consuming extra energy indoors, Pokémon Go players are getting outdoors, exploring their surroundings and benefitting from face-to-face interaction. The game encourages friends to meet up and walk around the neighborhood together to discover and catch different types of Pokémon. Also, it provides the opportunity for app users of all backgrounds to interact with new people, creating a sense of community and belonging.

An Engadget article shares that the game is considered a "stepping stone" to improving mental health, and studies have proven that social interaction is key to the well-being of children and adults.

Users get moving to "catch 'em all."

To catch different types of Pokémon, visit new Pokéstops and compete with other trainers at Pokémon gym locations, app users are typically required to get up and walk around. The game connects to smartphone GPS features to call attention to nearby stops and popular gaming locations. Users might have to head to a nearby park, street corner or landmark.

In addition, trainers can collect Pokémon eggs at select locations in their surrounding area. Once an egg is collected, a trainer must place it in an incubator and walk a specific distance until a Pokémon can hatch. The Pokémon Go site explains how different eggs require a different walking distance before they can hatch into Pokémon. Depending on how rare an egg is, the user might have to travel anywhere from one mile to six miles.

Don't be a Snorlax!

Rather than allowing users to sit around and get lost in the game's augmented reality for hours, Pokémon Go encourages frequent movement. Fortune Magazine states that most Pokémon Go players in the U.S. are using the app on average of 30 minutes every day. Walking – although it isn't one of the most physically demanding exercises – has been linked to improving blood pressure, diabetes and more. Organizations such as the American Heart Association recommend walking for 30 minutes each day in order to stay active and improve overall health.

As you can see, Pokémon Go has added green benefits that you might not even realize. Be sure to comment on ourFacebook page and let us know how the game has positively impacted your health!

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