American seniors may be less tired, more alert

A study conducted by Laura Kudrna and Paul Dolan at the London School of Economics and Political Science focused on the issue of “tiredness” in two age groups (15- to 24-year olds and senior citizens). Using data based on an analysis of data from the 2010 American Time Use Survey (ATUS), which included around 13,000 respondents (age 15 to 85). Participants kept an activity diary for selected days. An ATUS researcher called the participants and they were assigned three activities. In the diary, the participants tracked and reported how tired he or she felt after engaging in certain activities, such as eating.

Using regression analysis, Kudrna and Dolan found that on a scale of 0-6, older Americans had a lower average fatigue score (1.8) than the 15-24 age group (2.5). One explanation, she offers, is that older people know how to use their time and “do what they want to do when they want to do it.”

Kudrna and Dolan acknowledge that tiredness and fatigue are complicated concepts to study. “Maybe there are some underlying health factors at play here. The more we know about the U.S. population feels going about their daily activities, the better,” said Kudrna in an article.

The study is published in the Journals of Gerontology Series 2.

Topics: Activities