Senior citizens reported feeling less tired than younger people, including teenagers, in a new US study.
To the researchers' surprise, 15- to 24-year-olds — the youngest people in their study — said they felt the most fatigued of all during daily activities. The difference between the two age groups was almost one full point on a scale of 0 to 6, with 6 representing "very tired."
"It's a big effect," Laura Kudrna told Reuters Health. She and her colleague, Paul Dolan, conducted the study at the London School of Economics and Political Science.
The link between increasing age and decreasing fatigue held steady when they factored in how much people slept, how many children they had, whether they were employed and their general health.
Additionally, the researchers found people who were more educated and healthier tended to be less tired. Women reported feeling more tired than men. And feelings of fatigue increased with each additional child in the family.
The study of nearly 13,000 Americans is one of very few to investigate tiredness on a large scale, said Kudrna. It was published in the Journals of Gerontology Series B.
One possible explanation for the finding could be related to "how older people are able to use their time and do what they want to do when they want to do it," Kudrna said. Also, because older people tend not to use social media, they "may not have their attention drained the way that younger people might," she added.