Physical Activity among Older Adults with Visual Impairment: Considerations for Ageing Well with Sight Loss

  • Meridith Griffin
Part of the Global Culture and Sport Series book series (GCS)


Almost 2 million people in the UK are living with sight loss that has a significant impact on their daily lives, and every day approximately 100 more people begin to lose their sight (Fight for Sight, 2013). This phenomenon is increasingly linked to age, with 1 in 9 people aged 60+ in the UK currently living with sight loss. Research shows that visually impaired older adults, in general, have poorer general health than the sighted population (Jones et al., 2009). Visual impairment is also a significant risk factor for additional medical conditions as a result of activity limitations and participation restrictions (Crews and Campbell, 2001).


Physical Activity Visual Impairment Social Model Physical Activity Participation Disability Study 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Braun V and Clark V (2006) Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qualitative Research in Psychology 3: 77–101.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Craig R, Mindell J and Hirani V (2008) Health Survey for England 2008: Physical Activity and Fitness. Volume 1. London: NHS Information for Health and Social Care.Google Scholar
  3. Crews JE and Campbell VA (2001) Health conditions, activity limitations, and participation restrictions among older people with visual impairments. Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness 95: 453–467.Google Scholar
  4. Department of Health (DoH) (2013) Improving quality of life for people with long term conditions. Available at: (accessed September 2013).Google Scholar
  5. Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) (2013) Fulfilling potential: building a deeper understanding of disability in the UK today. Available at: (accessed January 2013).Google Scholar
  6. English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA) (2013) Available at: (accessed January 2013). Full datasets available at:
  7. Fight for Sight (2013) Statistics about blindness and eye disease. Available at: (accessed January 2013).Google Scholar
  8. Freund P (2001) Bodies, disability and spaces: the social model and disabling spatial organisations. Disability and Society 16(5): 689–706.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Goodley D (2011) Disability Studies. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  10. Green J and Thorogood N (2009) Qualitative Research Methods for Health Care (2nd edition). London: Sage.Google Scholar
  11. Hughes B and Paterson K (1997) The social model of disability and the disappearing body: towards a sociology of impairment. Disability and Society 12(3): 325–340.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Jeppsson Grassman E and Witaker A (2013) Ageing with Disability: A Lifecourse Perspective. Bristol: Policy Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Jones GC, Rovner BW, Crews JE et al. (2009). Effects of depressive symptoms on health behaviour practices among older adults with vision loss. Rehabilitation Psychology 54(2): 164–172.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Kennedy J and Minkler M (1998) Disability theory and public policy: implications for critical gerontology. International Journal of Health Services 28(4): 757–776.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Paterson K and Hughes B (1999) Disability studies and phenomenology: the carnal politics of everyday life. Disability and Society 14(5): 597–610.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Priestly M (2003) Disability: A Life Course Approach. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  17. Priestly M and Rabiee P (2002) Same difference? older people’s organisations and disability issues. Disability and Society 17(6): 597–611.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Raymond E, Grenier A and Hanley J (2014) Community participation of older adults with disabilities. Journal of Community and Applied Social Psychology 24(1): 50–62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Smith B and Sparkes AC (2012) Disability, sport and physical activity: a critical review. In: N Watson, A Roulstone and C Thomas (eds) Routledge Handbook of Disability Studies. London: Routledge, pp. 336–347.Google Scholar
  20. Sparkes AC and Smith B (2014) Qualitative Research Methods in Sport, Exercise and Health. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  21. Sport England (2011) Active people survey 5: disability trends and barriers. Available at: aps5.aspx?sortBy= alpha&pageNum=1 (accessed January 2013).Google Scholar
  22. Sport England (2013) Active people survey 7: once a week participation in sport. Available at: factsheet_aps7q2-final.pdf (accessed August 2013).Google Scholar
  23. Thomas C (2007) Sociologies of Disability and Illness. London: Palgrave.Google Scholar
  24. Townsend P (2007) Using human rights to defeat ageism: dealing with policy-induced ‘structured dependency’. In: M Bernard and T Scharf (eds) Critical Perspectives on Ageing Societies. Bristol: Policy Press, pp. 27–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Tulle E (2008) Acting your age? sports science and the ageing body. Journal of Aging Studies 22(4): 340–347.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Meridith Griffin 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Meridith Griffin

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations