Date of Award

Summer 8-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Human Movement Sciences


Exercise Science

Committee Director

Patrick Wilson

Committee Member

Gena Gerstner

Committee Member

Justin Haegele


The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between participation in physical activity (PA), social support for exercise, and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in adults with visual impairments (VI). Due to limited existing literature, this study was used to investigate variables that may impact HRQoL among the specified population. This study used a cross-sectional design and online surveys to determine relationships between the examined variables. Data was collected via Qualtrics Surveying and Google Forms Software. Physical activity was assessed using the International Physical Activity Questionnaire Short Version (IPAQ-SF), a 7-day recall of walking, moderate PA, vigorous PA, and sedentary time. HRQoL was measured using the SF-12 survey, which consists of 12 questions evaluating vitality, physical health, mental health, and social functioning. Social support for exercise was evaluated using the Social Support for Exercise Scale (SSES). This scale measures support for exercise from family and friends. Analyses included 80 total participants, consisting of 28 men and 52 women with VI. The SF-12 was summed into separate physical and mental health components and PA was summed into a combined variable of moderate/vigorous PA (MVPA) METmin/week. The SSES was scored into family participation, family rewards and punishment, and friend participation categories. Data were non-normally distributed, with descriptive statistics being presented as the medians and 25th and 75th percentiles. Participants were grouped into 2 visual classification categories, blind and low vision. Measures of central tendency between visual classifications were compared using a Mann-Whitney U test. Hierarchical linear regression was used to examine associations between PA-related variables (MET-min/week, sedentary time) and HRQoL components (mental and physical). Significant correlations were observed between physical HRQoL and age (p = 0.003) and physical HRQoL and BMI (p = 0.001). BMI was also found to significantly correlate with sitting time (p = 0.003). With each 0.15 increase in hours of sitting per day (B = 0.151), there was a one unit increase in BMI. A modest sample size may have impacted the likelihood of observing trends among participation in PA, HRQoL, and social support among adults with VI.


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