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We Have The Receipts: People Exercised Way More After Pokémon Go

Catch 'em all, break your activity tracker.

Originally posted on
Updated on

You may have heard that a little game called Pokémon Go came out last week. And players are calling it the best unintentional exercise ever.

It took Michelle Obama 8 years to convince people to run outside and be active. Nintendo did it in 24 hours. #PokemonGo

They're posting crazy screenshots of activity spikes recorded by their fitness trackers.

Shoutout to everyone playing #PokemonGO whose FitBits literally have no idea WTF happened 3 days ago.


So just how much exercise are Pokémon Go fanatics actually getting?

BuzzFeed News asked a handful of fitness-tracking companies to share data about their users' activity patterns since the game came out — and they reported seeing quite an increase in that time. After a limited release in Australia and New Zealand, the game launched in the U.S. for iOS and Android on Wed., July 6. (YES, IT'S ONLY BEEN A WEEK SINCE OUR WORLD CHANGED FOREVER.)

That's right — taking your Pokémon to the gym could also be a workout for you too.

Caveat: Unless noted below, it's not possible to know for sure that these activity increases are a direct result of catching 'em all.

Here are the steps of about 100 Jawbone UP users in the U.S. who mentioned "Pokemon" in a comment in their app feeds last weekend. That weekend was a little different from the others.

As co-founder Brandon Ballinger notes, the uptick in exercise is pretty similar to "the one we see for New Years’ Resolutions." That peters out after about a week, to the surprise of no one who's ever made a new year's resolution to exercise more. How long will the Pokémon exercise craze last?

... with the notable exception of one particular age group.

"People 35 and older were not affected," Withings noted on its blog, "perhaps because they did not grow up with Pokémon."

Stephanie M. Lee is a science reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in San Francisco.

Contact Stephanie M. Lee at

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