How are Vision, Sport and Exercises Related?

Whether you play sport at a serious level or just for fun, few people would argue that getting better would make them happy. Even the less competitive amongst us, even those who prefer to just exercise at home, (even if they don’t admit it) would like to improve at the sport they like playing!

Playing sport regardless of your level requires some fundamental abilities such as balance, speed and co-ordination.

But arguably the most important requirement is vision.

Vision is something we generally take for granted but take a minute to try and think of a sport where vision is not important. Admittedly some sports do not require the same level of vision as others but the vast majority of them do.

Why is vision so important in sport?

Vision is important for two separate reasons and they are as follows:

Visual acuity:

This is a measure of your actual vision and it relates to your ability to distinguish between 2 points. For example looking at the letter ‘E’ on an eye test chart requires you do be able to see that there are gaps between the 3 lines that make up the letter.

If you prefer to use an example in sport you could think or an archery target. The ability to be able to see the individual scoring rings is the level of your visual acuity.

Most people have probably heard the expressions 20:20 vision to describe perfect vision. This is a measurement of visual acuity but what may be surprising is that many people can achieve better than 20:20 vision. 20:20 vision is considered the level of vision that the average adult is able to achieve with or without glasses.

Many people can actually achieve 20:16 vision which is even more impressive. So don’t be so impressed the next time someone says they have 20:20 vision!


This relates to the ability to judge depth and it is vitally important when playing sport. Just about all sports require the judgment of depth, even less obvious one such as running.

Try running with one eye closed and you will find it isn’t that easy! To have good stereopsis both our eyes must have equal vision and must have developed properly when we were a child.

If you are unfortunate to have to wear glasses or contact lenses, then you may be forced to wear them for your sporting activities. Both correct vision excellently well but do not offer the freedom of having perfect unaided vision.

Glasses have a tendency to fall off and steam up and contact lenses can fall out during certain sports. Laser eye surgery offers an alternative solution meaning you would be able to play a sport without the inhibitions caused by glasses or contact lenses.

There are 2 main types of laser eye surgery and they are Lasik and Lasek, with Lasik being the most popular. If however you are involved in contact sports, then you will likely be advised to have Lasek as it does not impact on the strength of the surface of your eye.

Lasik can weaken the surface of your eye which could be an issue during contact sports. This is not an issue in everyday life however.

You can read more about laser eye surgery at which aims to provide you with independent advice and information.

This entry was posted in sports and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *