As Pokémon Go sweeps the nation—and the world—you might see even more people than usual wandering the streets staring into their phones. The augmented reality game uses smartphones to overlay the real world with images of video-game creatures that users can “catch” by throwing “Poké balls” at them in the app. Health experts have praised the game for using augmented reality to get users outside and walking around. Hunting for Pokémon like Pikachu and Bulbasaur is certainly better exercise than most smartphone games and could potentially be used as a fun team-building activity in the workplace.
But there are safety concerns, too. Organizations around the world are warning against the dangers of distracted walking, especially in high-traffic areas. The Japanese government even went so far as to send out tips for Pokémon Go safety ahead of the game’s release in that country. Sodexo’s workplace safety team has shared tips on how to hunt safely and effectively, so you can become a Pokémon master.
Prepare for the heat:
Pokémon Go fever has gripped the country just in time for the hottest days of summer. So when you go on a Poké walk, be prepared for the heat.
Dress appropriately for the weather, including wearing comfortable shoes and sunscreen. With a game this addictive, you may even be playing so long that you need to reapply it. Bring cold water with you to prevent against heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
A portable battery for your phone is also a good idea. The game drains batteries quickly. Since we all rely on our phones to navigate, bring an extra battery to ensure that you don’t end up lost with no idea how to get home.
Pro tip: Turn on “power saver mode” and “vibrate” in the Pokémon Go settings, so you can be alerted to Pokémon in your vicinity without draining too much battery on your walk.
Hunt with a Poké buddy:
One of the most obvious dangers of Pokémon Go is distracted walking, so bring a buddy with you as you hunt. With a buddy, you’ll be less likely to wander into an unknown area or bump head first into that telephone pole you didn’t see.
In fact, planning Poké walks at work can be a fun way to promote team bonding while getting a little exercise at the same time.
Pro tip: Don’t worry about starting interoffice feuds over a Squirtle. The game is set up so that if you see a Pokémon in the same location, you can each catch it independently.
Show restraint during your commute:
While it might seem like a great time to catch a Charmander, resist the urge to open the app while on your commute. It’s not worth missing your train or bus stop to catch a Pidgey! And it should probably go without saying that if you drive yourself to work, taking your eyes off the road to catch Pokémon is one of the most dangerous things you can do.
Pro tip: Consider starting an office carpool, so that your passenger can catch Pokémon for you as you drive safely in to work.
Are you trying to Catch Em All? Comment below with your thoughts on the Pokémon Go craze.