August 2014

Cassandra Phoenix and Meridith Griffin, University of Exeter Medical School

Brett Smith and P. David Howe, Loughborough University

Mental, physical and emotional health problems are preventing older people with sight loss from engaging in physical activity, according to research commissioned by Thomas Pocklington Trust. The study highlighted the benefits of regular exercise, calling for improved access to physical activities for people with vision impairments.

Key Facts:

  • Physically active older people have have higher levels of physical and cognitive function, psychological well-being and independence than inactive older people.
  • Social support, accessible transport, confidence and access to information about opportunities enabled people to be physically active.
  • There were multiple, overlapping barriers for those who struggled to be active or more active. The barriers related to physical, emotional, or mental health.

How can this research help?

The findings tell us about the benefits older people with visual impairment experience in being active and the challenges they face, and identify ways to increase participation.


Research Findings: Physical Activity among Older People with Sight Loss – PDF version and Word version