International Journal of Exercise Science 15(5): 142-151, 2021. Family-based mobile health applications may be an opportunity to increase children’s physical activity (PA) levels. Researchers have highlighted Pokémon GO as a potential model for future PA interventions as it integrates PA with social gamification. This study provides descriptive data on Pokémon GO usage among mothers and their children and examines differences in moderate to vigorous PA (MVPA) over time among individuals playing Pokémon GO compared to non-players using a dyadic subsample from a three-year longitudinal study. After the release of Pokémon Go in July 2016, 156 mother-child dyads completed questionnaires about Pokémon Go usage and wore accelerometers continuously for seven days at baseline (Sep 2016), six months, and twelve months. Independent sample t-tests and chi-square tests were used to investigate differences in demographics and daily MVPA by player status cross-sectionally at each time point. At baseline, six mothers and 21 children reported playing Pokémon Go. Baseline demographic characteristics were not associated with player status. Across time, mothers engaged in an average of 21.12 minutes of daily MVPA (SD = 19.7) and children in 29.35 minutes (SD = 18.88). Children’s daily MVPA did not differ by player status, but mothers who reported playing engaged in higher daily MVPA (M = 46.84, SD = 38.07) compared to non-players (M = 21.40, SD = 23.31). This naturalistic study lacked power to further analyze changes in MVPA after the release of the game due to lack of engagement with Pokémon GO. Understanding how to design a family-oriented game to bring together gamification, physical activity, and family-based interventions will be important for future public health efforts.
Wang, Shirlene D.; Dzubur, Eldin; Naya, Christine H.; Mason, Tyler B.; and Dunton, Genevieve F.
"Dyadic Effects of Pokémon GO on Physical Activity and Sedentary Behavior in Mothers and Children,"
International Journal of Exercise Science: Vol. 15
5, Pages 142 - 151.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.wku.edu/ijes/vol15/iss5/2