Our pace of life changes as we age

Health Articles
April 21, 2015

As we age, our routines change. We have different responsibilities, different work schedules, and our lifestyle habits are altered as a result. School children, for instance, are on a much stricter sleep and wake schedule than retired adults.

A few months ago we released a data story describing Steps Data and Country Lifestyles. We learned that activity levels are often dependent on the cultural subtleties between different countries. In this article, we’re excited to explore the differences in activity levels amongst different age groups.

Steps data give us some insights about people’s lifestyle habits

The charts below will help us to visualize the changes in activity we can associate with different age groups.


The 20-39 year old age group walks the most during the week

One possible explanation is that they walk to work or school. The 12:00 peak in activity can likely be explained by a lunchtime walk or trip to the gym. We notice that a large portion of the activity levels from this age group occurs in the evening (between 5pm and 3am). This is the time when work or school has ended and people have more flexibility to be active. More so than any other population, this age group exhibits “night owl” tendencies. They are the last age group to wake up, and as a result have a slower start reaching the first 100 steps.

The activity levels of the 40-59 year old age group falls in between the 20-39 and 60+

This age group wakes up and begins to be active at the same time as the 60+ population, however they are more active than the older population. We notice that they are most active between 6am and 9am. A possible explanation is trying to help the family get out the door on the way to work. The most active period of the day is from 12:00-2:00pm, again attributable to taking a walk or going to the gym during lunch. Similar to the younger age group, we see an afternoon peak of activity around 6pm. This is likely due to leaving work and having more free time to move around.

The 60+ age population is the least active

Throughout the entire day they walk 664 less steps than the 20-39 year old age group. They are the most active in the morning, and by 5pm their activity levels experience a drop off. These patterns are almost opposite from the other age populations. Additionally, the afternoon activity peak occurs much earlier than the other groups.


Our activity levels evolve as we age

From this set of data, we notice two important trends:

  • 1. As we get older, we begin to walk less
  • 2. As we get older, we go to sleep earlier and as a result wake up earlier.

Stay tuned for more data stories on activity levels!

About the data

This study was conducted with a panel of Withings users. Withings guarantees the confidentiality of personal data and protects the privacy of all its users. Therefore, all data used for this study was rigorously anonymized and aggregated.