Monday February 19, 2018

Game “Pokemon Go” to have added 2.83 million years of Life Expectancy by getting people off Couch to Hunt for Virtual Monster

When totalled, researchers said cumulatively, the roughly 25 million Pokemon Go-playing Americans took 144 billion more steps or the equivalent of 143 round trips to the moon

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FILE - A Pokemon Go player consults his phone while walking through the Boston Common outside the Massachusetts Statehouse. The game has introduced players to some aspects of history they otherwise might have missed. VOA
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Forget fitness trackers and fitness apps.

Researchers say the augmented reality game Pokemon Go could have added 2.83 million years of life expectancy by simply getting people off the couch to hunt for virtual monsters.

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The study was done by Microsoft Research and found that Pokemon Go players, on average, increased the number of steps they took by 26 percent, with the most sedentary benefiting the most. Looked at another way, that’s 194 more steps per day taken, or roughly 160 meters.

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When totalled, researchers said cumulatively, the roughly 25 million Pokemon Go-playing Americans took 144 billion more steps or the equivalent of 143 round trips to the moon.

Activity increases were seen among genders, ages, weight and general levels of health.

The researchers say that since activity lowers mortality, all the extra activity from Pokemon Go could mean 2.83 million more years of life expectancy. Players who take 1,000 steps per day could lengthen their lives by 41.4 days.

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The one downside of the study is that interest in the game appeared to have peaked in the summer. Less interest and colder weather could reduce the number of players sharply.

The study was posted in the Cornell University Library. (VOA)

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Beware! Tobacco, Poor Diet, and Mental Disorders are Leading Causes of Poor Health and you may be at Risk too!

According to a new study, deaths from noncommunicable, or chronic, diseases such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes have caused 72 percent of all deaths worldwide

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poor health
A heavyset man rests on a bench in Jackson, Miss. (VOA)

London, September 15, 2017 : Heart disease and tobacco ranked with conflict and violence among the world’s leading cause of poor health and the biggest killers in 2016, while poor diets and mental disorders caused people the greatest poor health, a large international study has found.

The Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study, published in The Lancet medical journal, found that while life expectancy is increasing, so too are the years people live in poor health. The proportion of life spent being ill is higher in poor countries than in wealthy ones.

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“Death is a powerful motivator, both for individuals and for countries, to address diseases that have been killing us at high rates. But we’ve been much less motivated to address issues leading to illnesses,” said Christopher Murray, director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington, which led the study.

He said a “triad of troubles” — obesity, conflict and mental illness — is emerging as a “stubborn and persistent barrier to active and vigorous lifestyles.”

Diet critical

The IHME-led study, involving more than 2,500 researchers in about 130 countries, found that in 2016, poor diet was associated with nearly one in five deaths worldwide. Tobacco smoking killed 7.1 million people.

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Diets low in whole grains, fruit, nuts and seeds, fish oils and high in salt were the most common risk factors, contributing to cases of obesity, high blood pressure, high blood sugar and high cholesterol.

The study found that deaths from firearms, conflict and terrorism have increased globally, and that noncommunicable, or chronic, diseases such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes caused 72 percent of all deaths worldwide.

Heart disease was the leading cause of premature death in most regions and killed 9.48 million people globally in 2016.

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Mental illness was found to take a heavy toll on individuals and societies, with 1.1 billion people living with psychological or psychiatric disorders and substance abuse problems in 2016.

Major depressive disorders ranked in the top 10 causes of ill health in all but four countries worldwide.

The GBD is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation global health charity and gives data estimates on 330 diseases, causes of death and injuries in 195 countries and territories. (VOA)