Covid-19 Exercise Health Check 2021: Follow Up Findings

As Covid-19 restrictions continue across Ireland, Vision Sports Ireland continues to connect with our community to identify and reduce the impact of the challenges that are being faced as a result of restrictions on physical activity and exercise.

Pádraig Healy, National Sports Development Manager with Vision Sports Ireland stated, “following Vision Sports first Health Check’ survey in May 2020, we were keen to capture the health of members as Covid restrictions continued in January 2021. The information in this survey highlights the challenges being faced by our members who are blind and vision impaired. Vision Sports Ireland will continue to provide opportunities for our members to stay active during these difficult times and we encourage all blind and vision impaired people to stay connected with us and to share their stories and ideas.”  

Key findings of this survey showed that:

  • Whilst there was a slight improvement, 84% of respondents reported that Covid-19 restrictions were still majorly impacting their engagement in physical activity (from 90% in May 2020)
  • 72% of respondents were unable to meet the National Physical Guidelines of at least 30 minutes a day of moderate intensity activity, five days a week (or 150 minutes a week)
  • More than 1 in 2 (55%) of respondents reported that Covid-19 restrictions on exercise had a considerable negative impact on their mental health (up from 50% in 2020)
  • 81% of this cohort are participating in less exercise per week than January 2020

Vision Sports Ireland continues to look for opportunities to support our members to be active, and support both their physical and mental health. Feedback from members reported difficulties with physical and social distancing, gyms closed or guides living further than 5km away against a backdrop of inaccessible online class offering.

Vision Sports’ Passport Programme which is our innovative solution to connecting registered guides to members, has further developed to launch an Online Exercise Series to increase accessible physical activity opportunities for our members. All classes are free of charge, with prior registration required. Each programme runs online weekly for six weeks, with classes to date including:

  • Nature Mindfulness – Mindfulness classes provided by Nature Therapy Ireland.
  • Cardio and Resistance Training – Qualified Personal Trainer, Helen Whearity.
  • Over 50s Movement, Balance and Stretch – Qualified Personal Trainer, Gita Ram

Sign up today via  

For more information on how to get involved, or to put your ideas to the team, please get in touch by emailing

On small screens this website needs to be viewed in portrait screen orietation.