Children’s Hospital Uses Pokemon as ‘Sneaky Way’ to Get Kids Exercising

By Sherley Boursiquot, Epoch Times
July 20, 2016 Updated: July 20, 2016

A pediatric hospital in Ann Arbor, Michigan, is using the recently launched Pokemon GO game to “help patients get out and see the world.”

“It’s kind of a sneaky way to get kids to exercise,” said J.J. Bouchard, who is a child life specialist at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital.

The brand new app, which was first launched in July 6, is a game that uses real locations of a people’s surroundings so that they can catch more than a hundred species of Pokemon creatures.  Only those with iPhone and Android devices have access to the app. 

Screengrab via UMHealthSystem
(Screengrab via UMHealthSystem)

Bouchard said the game is “getting people to look up from their phones and interact with one another.”  

However, it also helps patients when it comes to doing physical activities, which can be very beneficial for occupational and physical therapists, Bouchard said. 

“If I am trying to get a kid to raise his arm up or squat down, I can say, ‘Hey the guy is a little bit lower. Can you reach down and get him?'” said Bouchard in the YouTube video, which was uploaded on July 15.

Screengrab via UMHealthSystem
(Screengrab via UMHealthSystem)

Young patients are “walking around, getting excited,” due to Pokemon GO, but the game also “makes the hospital less scary, kids are exploring a place maybe they were afraid of,” Bouchard said.

Overall, everyone in the hospital is excited about the new released app—young patients, siblings, parents, and staff. 

“It [Pokemon GO] raises the general atmosphere of happiness here in the hospital,” Bouchard said, adding that “it’s a technology that will only get better.”