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If you are an earlier riser that stays active throughout the day, there is good news for you. According to a new study staying active throughout the day can make one mentally sharper, especially in older age. 

Early risers perform well in cognitive tests 

University of Pittsburgh scientists have found that seniors who rise up early and get engaged through the day are happier and perform well in cognitive tests compared to those with erratic activity patterns. 

It’s commonly known that being busy is important, particularly as one age. But according to this new study, exercise patterns—not just activity intensity—are essential for mental health and healthy aging.

Lead study author Stephen Smagula, assistant professor of psychiatry and epidemiology at Pitt, said there is something about waking up early, remaining active throughout the day, and sticking to a schedule that safeguards senior citizens. In addition, these results are interesting because they demonstrate that activity patterns can be changed voluntarily, which suggests that altering everyday routines with purpose can enhance health and well-being.

The researchers gathered 1,800 seniors (65 and over) to conduct a study on older Americans’ everyday activity routines to discover correlations between these patterns and psychological health and cognition. Each respondent wore an accelerometer around their wrists for a whole week, which tracks movement and is akin to a smartwatch or Fitbit. In addition, the respondents responded to a set of tests measuring cognitive ability and symptoms of depression.

Staying active for a long time is beneficial for health.

Staying active for a long irrespective of intensity, is vital to keeping a sharp mind. The Study indicates that 32.6% of the subjects had consistent daily trends but remained active for 13.4 hours daily since they woke up late and started unwinding quite early. Such subjects scored lower in cognitive tests and had depressive symptoms relative to early risers. 

It is important to note that activity duration is more important than activity intensity. Therefore, being engaged throughout the day is more beneficial than short, intense exercise.