Straight from the Lab

When do you enjoy working out the most? Are you an early bird or rather a night owl? The answer depends on your gender and age - or at least this is what our user data suggests. In the graphs below you can see at what time of the day our users generally like to do their training.

Unsurprisingly, most users like to train during daytime, but men and women differ in their preferences on at what time during the day they like to train. Men prefer to start at 8 in the morning and train throughout the day until 7 in the evening, whereas women's favourite time is 8 in the evening.

Training habits according to age and gender

Do people differ in their training habits at different ages? To answer this question, we compared users aged 20-30 years to users aged 60-70 years.

Men and women seem to have different training habits at different ages. Although women of all ages are more active in the evening than men, it seems that the genders do not differ as much in the younger generation. In older adults, however, the difference between men and women is clear: in the morning there are more men training than women, whereas women train more than men from the afternoon hours until late in the evening. This finding is consistent with a 2014 study, where women of advanced ages preferred being mentally active in the evenings.

NeuroNation's young and older members have different preferences

Another striking difference is that younger people seem not to like to trainin the morning. Between 6 and 10 in the morning, 24% of older users are active, while only 21% of younger members train at this time. Yet between 8 in the evening and midnight, 15 % of younger users conducted their training, while only 9% of older users are active.

This observation has already been discussed in previous research. It is assumed that adolescents and young adults need more sleep, yet still tend to go to bed later than the rest of the population. This explains why younger people start training later in the morning than older users, because they're catching up on their sleep in the morning [2].

[1] Duarte, L. L., Menna-Barreto, L., Miguel, M. A. L., Louzada, F., Araujo, J., Alam, M., Areas, R., & Pedrazzoli (2014). Chronotype ontogeny related to gender. Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research, 47(4), 316-320.

[2] Hines, C. B. (2013). Time-of-day effects on human performance. Catholic Education: A Journal of Inquiry and Practice, 7(3), 390-412.

Gender differences in cognition

Do men and women have different mental strengths and weaknesses? And does cognition change across lifetime? NeuroNation used the data from the onboarding process, where users have generally not yet begun to train their cognition. With this data the goal was to find out, whether differences between men and women exist, and if these differences increase with age.

Gender-dependent differences

Studies show that while men and women have different strengths, the findings strongly depend on the context in which cognitive performance was evaluated [3]. NeuroNation’s data shows that men do better in logical thinking and memory performance, but there seems to be no difference between men and women in attentional processes.

Changes in cognitive performance with age

Can our data confirm previous research that suggests that cognitive performance declines starting in our mid 20’s? The results of our data analysis clearly indicates that this is the case - particularly the decline in fluid intelligence.

[3] Ortner, T. M., & Sieverding, M. (2008). Where are the Gender Differences? Male Priming Boosts Spatial Skills in Women. Sex Roles, 59, 274-281.

[4] Baltes, P. B., Staudinger, U. M., & Lindenberger, U. (1999). Lifespan Psychology: Theory and Application to Intellectual Functioning. Annual Review of Psychology, 50, 471-507.

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