PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Playing Pokémon Go can actually make you happier, friendlier and physically active, according to a recent study.
Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison surveyed about 400 people, three weeks after the game was launched in 2016. They asked the participant questions about their emotional and social lives and their levels of physical activity.
“There was plenty of negative press about distracted people trespassing and running into trees or walking into the street,” said James Alex Bonus, a UW-Madison graduate student. “But you also saw people really enjoying it, having a good time together outside.”
According to the study, more than 40 percent of the respondents turned out to be Pokemon Go players. Those people were walking more, were more social and were experiencing more positive emotions. Researchers say players were more likely than non-players to be making new friends and deepening old friendships.
“The more people were playing, the more they were engaging in behaviors that reflected making new connections – making Facebook friends, introducing themselves to someone new, exchanging phone numbers with someone, or spending more time with old friends and learning new things about them,” Bonus said.
So, next time someone tells you to stop playing Pokémon Go – just tell them you’re actually getting happier.