Seniors less tired than their younger counterparts

The common perception of aging has changed considerably in recent years, and a new study will certainly help fuel this growing trend. Researchers from the London School of Economics analyzed data from the 2010 American Time Use Survey and found that older adults are considerably less tired than their younger counterparts.

Surprising results
To determine feelings of fatigue, researchers relied on responses from 13,000 study subjects who rated how tired they felt on a scale of 0 to 6 on a given day. The team discovered that the average rating for younger adults was about 2.5, but at the older end of the spectrum, that figure dropped to 1.8. Analysts say there could be a number of reasons for the surprising results, including the fact that seniors often know how to make better use of their time. Senior living also has fewer distractions that could cause fatigue, experts say.

“Older people feel better in day-to-day life than younger people, and that is a widely replicated pattern in research,” Laura Carstensen, director of Stanford University’s Center on Longevity in California, told Reuters Health.

Taking advantage
In light of the findings, it should come as no surprise that older adults today place a premium on staying mentally, physically and socially active in a wide variety of ways. Some of the most telling evidence of just how active seniors are comes from a survey taken last year by USA Today and UnitedHealthCare. Most telling is the fact that staying active and engaged in their community was respondents’ top concern as they navigate their retirement living years. Furthermore, approximately one-third said they still worked at least part time – 76 percent of whom did so simply because they enjoyed it. Not only that, but their quality of life trumps that of younger adults.

“It’s a misperception, a misunderstanding and profound misrepresentation. … Turns out, young people these days are the most anxious, most depressed, and the 60-76 are the most resilient, most financially protected.” gerontology expert Ken Dychtwald told USA Today.

Find an energy boost
Although seniors may be less tired than younger adults, that doesn’t mean they can’t take steps to increase their energy levels. Getting plenty of sun has shown to increase energy, as can staying well hydrated and limiting sugar intake, Forbes notes.