Self-reported physical activity using International Physical Activity Questionnaire in adolescents and young adults with visual impairment

Magdalena Wrzesińska, Ph.D. Anna Lipert, Ph.D., Beata Urzędowicz, M.D., Ph.D., Lucjan Pawlicki, M.D., Ph.D.

Disability and Health Journal, Volume 11, Issue 1, January 2018, Pages 20-30


Young people with visual impairment (VI) face many environmental barriers that influence physical activity.


The aims of the study were to assess the level of physical activity (PA) in students with VI, with regard to their age, gender, level of VI, body mass index and abdominal obesity (AO), and to identify the percentage of study participants who did not meet the international recommendations for PA.


Anthropometric measurements were taken to assess the body mass index and waist-to-height ratio. The PA level was measured by the International Physical Activity Questionnaire- Long Form. A sample of 122 students with VI aged 15.1–22.7 years were included in the study.


The mean total PA was 8514.5 ± 7201.0 Metabolic Equivalents min/week. Students with normal weight and excess weight had much greater total PA scores than those who were underweight (p < 0.05). Students with abdominal obesity had slightly lower total PA than those without AO. Blind students were engaged less in PA in most of the domains than partially-sighted students. Overall, 39.3% of participants did not meet the recommendation of 75 min/week of vigorous PA, and 23.8% did not meet the recommendation of almost 150 min/week of moderate PA. In total, 32.8% of participants did not meet the international recommendations of 420 min/week moderate or vigorous PA.


To improve the PA level of students with VI, health promotion initiatives focused on promoting PA during their school days and free time are required, based on innovative methods adjusted to their needs.