Visual Impairment and Objectively Measured Physical Activity in Middle-Aged and Older Adults

Yurun Cai, Jennifer A. Schrack, Hang Wang, J. Y.E. Jian-Yu, Amal A. Wanigatunga, Yuri Agrawal, Jacek K. Urbanek, Eleanor M. Simonsick, Luigi Ferrucci, Bonnielin K. Swenor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Vision loss is associated with increased risk of falls and restricted physical activity, yet the relationship between multiple vision measures and objectively measured physical activity, especially activity patterns, in mid-to-late life is not well understood. Method: This study included 603 participants aged 50 years and older (mean age = 73.5) in the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging who had the following assessments: presenting and best-corrected visual acuity, contrast sensitivity, visual fields, stereo acuity, and free-living physical activity using a wrist-worn ActiGraph accelerometer for 7 days. Linear regression models were used to examine the association between vision measures and daily activity counts, active minutes, and activity fragmentation (defined as an active-to-sedentary transition probability), adjusting for potential confounders. Mixed-effects models estimated differences in activity by time of day comparing those with and without each visual impairment. Results: In the fully adjusted model, worse presenting visual acuity, contrast sensitivity, and visual fields were associated with fewer activity counts, less active time, and more fragmented activity patterns (p <. 05 for all). Participants with presenting or best-corrected visual acuity impairment had 19.2 and 29.3 fewer active minutes (p =. 05 and p =. 03, respectively) per day. Visual field impairment was associated with 268 636 fewer activity counts (p =. 02), 46.2 fewer active minutes (p =. 02) per day, and 3% greater activity fragmentation (p =. 009). Differences in activity levels tended to be greatest from 6 am to 6 pm (p <. 05). Conclusions: Older adults with visual impairment have restricted and more fragmented patterns of daily activity. Longitudinal studies to quantify the long-term impacts of visual impairments on activity decline are warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2194-2203
Number of pages10
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2021


  • Accelerometry
  • Activity fragmentation
  • Epidemiology
  • Physical activity
  • Vision loss

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Visual Impairment and Objectively Measured Physical Activity in Middle-Aged and Older Adults'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this