It turns out playing Pokémon Go can earn you more than just the coveted title of real-life Pokémon Master (and the vitriol of the Internet’s most devoted fun-suckers.)

It can also earn you 41 extra days above ground, according to a new study.

Researchers at Stanford University and Microsoft have found that regularly playing Pokémon Go – which encourages users to explore their real-life surroundings to track down Pokémon – could "measurably affect US life expectancy.”

The research found that those who engage with the mobile app on a regular basis walked an additional 1,473 steps per day – roughly 25 per cent more activity. For those between the ages of 15 and 49, an additional 1,000 steps a day could translate to 41.4 extra days of life expectancy.

"Across the 25 million US Pokémon Go users, this would translate to 2.85 million years additional life added to US users," the study claims.

The research was conducted by tracking the activity of nearly 32,000 Pokémon Go users for three months using the Microsoft Band's accelerometer and gyrometer. Researchers discovered that the game "significantly increased" levels of physical activity, particularly among those aren’t traditionally that active.

"These increases are not restricted to already active and healthy individuals, but also reach individuals with low prior activity levels, and overweight or obese individuals," said researchers. 

The researchers also discovered that Pokémon Go was more likely to improve the movement of less active individuals than other health apps. They compared the four top-rated health apps for iOS and Android (which they don’t name in the study) and discovered that Pokémon Go recruits more users and fosters better results.

"Pokémon Go leads to larger increases in physical activity than other mobile health apps and further attracts more users who are not yet very active," the study said. 

Researchers believe this is due to the fact that Pokémon Go is not labeled necessarily as an exercise app.

"The good thing about Pokémon Go is it is not aimed at people who want to walk, but those who are excited about playing games," stated GP Dr Margaret McCartney in the British Medical Journal. "The worst thing that could happen would be for it to be hijacked by the health lobby." 

Looks like this kid will be outliving us all, after all:

h/t The Telegraph

Banner image: Pokemon GO augmented reality smartphone game player shows his pokemon, Plovdiv, Bulgaria, July 24, 2016. (Stolen Yotov / Shutterstock.com)