It seems like the halcyon days of Pokémon Go have come and gone. No longer do you see street corners filled with people trying to conquer gyms, nor do you see reports of crazed mobs running for a Vaporeon. But the effects of the fad may linger, according to a new study done by Microsoft coming to us via CNN. Twitter-based evidence over the summer implied that the nature of the game was actually inspiring couch potatoes to leave the house and get some exercise in order to catch virtual, fantastical critters, and now there’s some hard proof of that very fact.
According to the research, “particularly engaged users” took an average of 1,473 more steps a day using Pokémon Go than they would have otherwise, amounting to more than a 25 percent bounce in their activity. The study was based in part off other research that shows that “walking reduces mortality,” which led the Microsoft researchers to conclude that all the extra physical activity that comes from playing Pokémon Go may add an “estimated 2,825 million years of additional lifetime to its US users alone.” Alas, that good news comes with a caveat: That would-be increase in life expectancy would only happen “if Pokémon Go was able to sustain the engagement of its current user base.” So go forth and catch Spearows and let the human race prosper.