TitleAssociation Between Accelerometer-Assessed Physical Activity and Tinnitus, NHANES 2005–2006
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsLoprinzi, PD, Lee, H, Gilham, B, Cardinal, BJ
JournalResearch Quarterly for Exercise and Sport
Pagination177 - 185
Date Published06/2013

Internet-based claims suggest that physical activity may help to relieve tinnitus symptoms. The purpose of this study was to empirically investigate the association between accelerometer-assessed physical activity and tinnitus (i.e., ringing, roaring, or buzzing in the ears). Method: Data were obtained from the 2005–2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey on 963 adolescents (aged 12–19 years old) and 473 older adults (aged 70–85 years old). Physical activity was measured using an accelerometer, and participants were asked several tinnitus-related questions. Results: The weighted prevalence of tinnitus was 8.9% and 25.3% for adolescents and older adults, respectively. For every 1-min increase in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, adolescents were 4% less likely to have tinnitus lasting more than 3 months compared with less than 3 months (OR = 0.96, 95% CI [0.93, 0.99]). For older adults with hypertension, for every 60-min increase in light-intensity physical activity, they were 21% less likely to have tinnitus zcompared with not having tinnitus (OR = 0.790, 95% CI [0.649, 0.963]). Conclusion: Overall, we conclude that physical activity was associated with tinnitus status in a nationally representative sample of adolescents and older adults. If additional studies confirm these findings, then audiologists and other hearing specialists are encouraged to promote physical activity among their patients to help treat and prevent tinnitus.