These Pokémon Go players are using their Fitbits more - will it last?

Pokémon Go could be the surprise killer app for fitness tracking
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Pokémon Go has become an overnight sensation and in a wearable tech twist, the AR game that forces you out of the house is also giving fitness trackers new life. I chatted to three Fitbit owners, all rediscovering their tracker dashboards thanks to the craze.

All three people have been using their Fitbits for quite some time but either haven't paid a lot of attention to them in a while, or were low on steps. After downloading Pokémon Go, their step count saw a huge spike that's been growing steadily - much like Jawbone users have seen.

There's no denying the appeal of strapping on your wearable to see how far your Pokémon Go travels have taken you. Let us know in the comments if you've seen a spike in steps while playing.

Play Go, get motivated

These Pokémon Go players are using their Fitbits more - will it last?

Sandra Parsons' before/after metrics and week's total steps

Sandra Parsons is a loyal Fitbit Surge and Blaze owner and has consistently tracked her activity with Fitbit devices for four years. For Sandra, it wasn't about a renewed interest in her devices but rather another way to use them. Since downloading the game on 11 July, she's been on an upswing.

"It was one of those times where I had been going through a bit of a low spot where I hadn't been getting out very much and exercising as much as I have in the past," she said. "This was a nice motivator to go out and go hunt some Pokémon while going on a walk.

"My wearing of the Fitbit has been the same because I've always tracked my activity. I've been doing it for years now. But for me it's a double incentive - I want to go out and play the game but I also want the steps."

Gotta keep it charged

These Pokémon Go players are using their Fitbits more - will it last?

Adam Lathers' dashboard and before/after metrics

Another gamer, Adam Lathers has been using his Fitbit Zip for over five years but has often forgotten to juice up the battery of late. Fifteen minutes after the game was released in the US, he and his girlfriend immediately started catching Pokémon - while on vacation walking around the top of Mt. Kilauea volcano in Hawaii. (Yes, they were successful).

Read next: Which Fitbit tracker should you buy?

After heading home from that adventure, he also saw a lot more steps logged on his Fitbit dashboard which he loves because of his desk job.

"I essentially always have my Fitbit on my wrist or my pocket. With Pokémon, I can say, 'Hey there's a Pokéstop down on the corner or a gym down the block. I'm going to take a 10 minute break and get out to do stuff. It's been a little fire under my butt. I'd noticed my activity had gone down substantially. Now I've found that I'm much more active during the day."

Another bonus - Adam now tries to remember to charge up his Zip more often so he doesn't miss tracking anything.

Goal smasher

These Pokémon Go players are using their Fitbits more - will it last?

Lewis Liaw's dashboard and before/after metrics

"A little over a week ago, I thought it'd be fun to download it and show our son all the little characters," Lewis Liaw told us. "I realized at the end of the first day, when I checked in on my Fitbit dashboard, I'd completely blown my goals out of the water which I haven't done for a very long time. So I thought to myself, let's see if I can do this again tomorrow.

"I had been generally active with it last year, and set a large goal for myself, I lost about 30 pounds. Then around the start of this year, being less active I wasn't really using my Fitbit tracker as much. This gave me a kickstart to get back into it."

Due to Pokémon Go's popularity, the servers have taken to crashing and not loading but that hasn't stopped Lewis from going out. "What I have noticed is that with the poor server connectivity, even when I can't connect to the game, I still just decide, 'Well I'm already out here, let's continue this walk and maybe later I'll get to play."

Some days his wife will go out and catch Pokémon then the two will compare Fitbit stats. Adam and his girlfriend also like the competition with each other while Sandra likens it to Fitbit Challenges - with a Pokémon element.

So there you have it. We only spoke with a few people and it's not clear how long the Poké-fever will stick around. But it's obvious from internet rumblings that everyone's out exploring more and some with wearables in tow. So as Pokémon are being caught, steps are too.

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Lily is a writer and editor specializing in tech, video games, marketing, education, travel writing, and creative fiction. 

She has over 10 years of experience covering the technology beat.

Lily has a passion for VR and AR technologies and was associate wearables editor at TechRadar US, before joining Wareable as US editor in 2016.

Lily will graduate in 2023 with an MFA in Creative Writing.

In her spare time, Lily can be found knee-deep in zine collaborations, novel writing, playing Dungeons & Dragons or hiking and foraging for mushrooms.

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