Visual Acuity’s Association With Levels of Leisure-Time Physical Activity in Community-Dwelling Older Adults

in Journal of Aging and Physical Activity
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Little is known about the effect of reduced vision on physical activity in older adults. This study evaluates the association of visual acuity level, self-reported vision, and ocular disease conditions with leisure-time physical activity and calculated caloric expenditure. A cross-sectional study of 911 subjects 65 yr and older from the University of Alabama at Birmingham Study of Aging (SOA) cohort was conducted evaluating the association of vision-related variables to weekly kilocalorie expenditure calculated from the 17-item Leisure Time Physical Activity Questionnaire. Ordinal logistic regression was used to evaluate possible associations while controlling for potential confounders. In multivariate analyses, each lower step in visual acuity below 20/50 was significantly associated with reduced odds of having a higher level of physical activity, OR 0.81, 95% CI 0.67, 0.97. Reduced visual acuity appears to be independently associated with lower levels of physical activity among community-dwelling adults.

Swanson is with the Dept. of Optometry; Bodner, the Center for Aging; and Sawyer and Allman, the Div. of Geriatrics, Gerontology, and Palliative Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL.