Pokemon Go getting people moving in Fredericton
The popular mobile app based on Nintendo characters is getting everyone outside again
The new Pokemon Go mobile app is doing what millions of government dollars and studies couldn't do — it's getting kids and adults off the couch and moving.
Since the Canadian release of the game on Sunday, hundreds of players have been wandering Fredericton at all hours of the day and night, capturing virtual creatures in unusual places.
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Anna Cormier says she's been out every day since Monday with her son Cameron and her daughter Mya.
"Going for walks with him was hard. Any mention of the mall or going shopping, there was huge fights and hissy fits and now I just tell him we're going to go catch some Pokemon. It's a hundred per cent better," said Cormier.
Cormier says her family moved to Fredericton in December, but they just discovered Officers' Square, in the city's downtown, in the past week while chasing Pokemon.
App drains battery but not player
"You just look around and you know people are playing. I've seen two kids walking around together playing. Walking is just great exercise and just to get them out of the house doing something is, I think, a great advancement," said Cormier.
Gabriela Tymowski-Gionet, a professor in the kinesiology department at the University of New Brunswick, isn't sure the Pokemon Go craze is going to last.
"It's wonderful to see people outside but from my perspective it's a little sad that they aren't looking at the birds, they aren't interacting with other people," she said.
Healthy habits are hard to maintain
"It's really difficult in our day and age … a society where being sedentary is very common for many people, for adults and for children," she said.
Tymowski-Gionet says any amount of physical activity is good she wonders how long the Pokemon Go hype will last.
"This app is brand spanking new. It has just burst onto the market with amazing results," she said.
"My concern is how long is this going to last and what will happen then, will people revert back to their original sedentary lifestyles?"