Background:: Data on the association between visual difficulty and physical activity (PA) from low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) are scarce. Thus, the aim of the study was to investigate the association between visual difficulty and PA among adults from 36 LMICs, and to assess the mediators in this association. Methods:: Cross-sectional, community-based, predominantly nationally representative data from the World Health Survey were analysed. The final sample included 199,110 individuals aged ≥18 years [mean (SD) age 38.6 (16.1) years; 49.4% males]. Visual difficulty referred to having severe/extreme difficulties in seeing and recognizing a person that the participant knows across the road. Low PA was defined as not complying with PA recommendations of 150 min of moderate-vigorous PA per week. Multivariable logistic regression, meta-analysis, and mediation analysis were conducted to assess associations. Results:: Meta-analysis based on country-wise multivariable logistic regression analysis showed that overall, visual difficulty is associated with a 1.53 (95% CI = 1.38–1.71) times higher odds for low PA. Particularly strong associations were observed in males (OR = 1.72; 95% CI = 1.45–2.05) and adults aged ≥65 years (OR = 1.95; 95% CI = 1.67–2.29). Interpersonal activities, cognition, and sleep/energy explained >10% of the association between visual difficulty and low PA. Conclusions:: In conclusion, we found evidence that especially in the case of males and older adults with visual difficulties in LMICs, there were low levels of engagement with PA. Addressing issues such as interpersonal activities, cognition, and sleep/energy in people with visual difficulties may increase levels of PA.
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© 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to The Royal College of Ophthalmologists.
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