As the incidence of childhood obesity increases, there is a need to promote leisure time physical activity. Traditional approaches to promote the population physical activity levels have shown at best moderate improvements. High percentage of children today carry a cell phone, thus the use of this portable device seems promising for enhancing physical activity.
Pokémon Go, is a smartphone game that uses augmented reality, where players are incentivized to get out and walk significant distances to catch the Pokémon. Initial reports suggested increases in the number of steps that players performed, yet this effect of the game was not sustained. Incorporating physical activity into modern technology seems promising, clearly there is need to explore creative ways to achieve a longer term effect.
The author is with the Child Health and Sports Center, Meir Medical Center, Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Israel.