Physical activity, visual impairment, and eye disease

Sharon R. Ong, Jonathan G. Crowston, Paul D. Loprinzi, Pradeep Y. Ramulu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Numerous studies have demonstrated physical activity is a strong factor in overall health and well-being, and a growing body of literature, reviewed herein, suggests that several eye conditions, including glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy, are associated with lower activity levels. Likewise, physical activity levels are lower in persons with worse vision. Research in this area has utilized both self-reported physical activity measures as well as objective measures of activity (i.e., accelerometers), each of which have their own strengths and limitations. Putative mechanisms explaining the association of various eye conditions with physical activity are discussed. It is possible that activity restriction occurs as a downstream consequence of eye disease/visual impairment, that activity restriction causes eye disease/visual impairment, or that causality is bidirectional; evidence supporting each of these theories is put forth. An improved understanding of the relationship between physical activity and eye disease will highlight potential secondary health risks resulting from eye disease, and can help determine whether activity might serve as a readily available preventative measure to prevent specific eye conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1296-1303
Number of pages8
JournalEye (Basingstoke)
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems


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