Men with sensory loss are more likely to be physically inactive and obese than women
Men with sensory loss, especially hearing loss, are more likely to be physically inactive and obese than women, according to a new study published in the European Journal of Public Health.
Analyzing data from more than 23,000 Spanish adults, the researchers examined the links between physical inactivity and obesity in people with vision and hearing loss, and examined the differences between men and women.
The results suggest that inactive people with hearing loss are 1.78 times more likely to be obese than those who have not had hearing loss. The odds ratio is slightly lower in people with vision problems, with the likelihood of obesity being 1.375 times higher than those who did not report vision loss.
The association between physical activity and obesity was higher in men with hearing loss, who were 2,319 times more likely to be obese than women who reported hearing problems. Obesity in people with vision loss was 1.556 times higher in inactive men than in women.
Those with combined vision and hearing problems had the highest prevalence of physical inactivity (44.8%) and obesity (26.1%). The analysis showed a significant association between physical inactivity and obesity in men with vision or hearing loss, but not in women.
About 62% of adults in Spain are overweight and 26% say they are obese. In the UK the numbers are broadly similar at around 64% and 28% respectively, suggesting strong similarities between countries.
A total of 11.04% of those surveyed said they had vision loss, 6.96% reported hearing loss and 3.93% said they had both vision and hearing loss.
It is clear from our study that there are significant differences between the sexes.
Although women were less physically active than men overall, we found an association between physical inactivity and obesity in men, but not women. This suggests that exercise and exercise play a very important role in preventing obesity in men, especially for people with vision and hearing loss.
Adults, especially those with sensory losses, should be encouraged to be as physically active as possible, but there are obvious challenges that strongly suggest that intervention and encouragement would play a very important role.
An effective strategy to increase physical activity in this population would be targeted intervention programs based on health awareness of the importance of physical activity. “
Shahina Pardhan, Main author, professor, Director of the Institute for Eye and Eye Research at Anglia Ruskin University
Pardhan, S., et al. (2021) Gender Differences Between Physical Activity and Obesity in Adults with Vision and Hearing Loss. European Journal of Public Health. doi.org/10.1093/eurpub/ckab077.