The LEDs move pilot study: the Light Curtain and physical activity and well-being among people with visual and intellectual disabilities

L. Enkelaar*, R. Oosterom-Calo, D. Zhou, N. Nijhof, E. Barakova, P. Sterkenburg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Background: Moving around and being physically active can often be challenging for people with a visual impairment. The combination of a visual and intellectual disability can make being physically active even more difficult. The aim of the current study was to examine whether a technological device for physical activity promotion would be associated with more movement and whether using it would be experienced as enjoyable for people with visual and intellectual disabilities. Methods: A randomised multiple baseline design was used for this study. The participants were nine adults with a visual impairment and an IQ between 20 and 50. As participants interacted with the Light Curtain, movement was measured with triaxial accelerometers embedded in the Empatica E4 wristband. Independent observers scored activity, alertness and well-being from video-recordings using the following observation lists: the Happiness Feature Score (HFS) and the Arousal and Valence Scale (AVS). Results: Physical activity measured with the accelerometer and positive excitement measured with the AVS significantly increased among participants when they were engaged with the Light Curtain compared with care-as-usual activities. Well-being measured with the HFS did not show a significant difference between the baseline and intervention phases. Conclusions: Engagement with the Light Curtain increased physical activity and positive excitement in persons with visual and intellectual disabilities, but more research is necessary to understand how the Light Curtain might affect happiness and well-being.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)971-988
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Intellectual Disability Research
Issue number11
Early online date20 Sept 2021
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This project was financially supported by the Programmaraad Visueel (VJ2018‐01).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 MENCAP and International Association of the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


  • intellectual disability
  • light curtain
  • physical activity
  • technology
  • visual impairment
  • well-being


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