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Natural Awakenings Tucson

Multiple Benefits for Early Rising Active Seniors

Senior sitting up in bed in the morning with arms outstretched overhead


Older adults that consistently get up early and stay active throughout the day are happier and perform better on cognitive tests than those with irregular activity patterns, according to a new study led by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh. The researchers studied 1,800 adults 65 or older and divided them into four subgroups of activity patterns: earlier rising/robust, shorter activity duration/less modellable, shorter active periods/very weak and later activity offset/very weak. Both groups with weak rhythms had twofold odds of clinically significant depression symptoms and cognitive performance deficits. As we age, disruption in activity patterns may be common. More research is needed into why earlier and robust patterns appear to be protective and whether modifying disrupted patterns improves health outcomes.