Prevalence of objectively measured physical and sedentary behaviour in Nova Scotian breast cancer survivors undergoing adjuvant therapy


Purpose: Physical activity (PA) and sedentary behaviour (SB) has been shown to impact overall and health related quality of life (QoL). Studies among cancer survivors have revealed low self-reported PA levels. The purpose of this study was to assess the prevalence of objectively measured moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA) and sedentary time among breast cancer survivors (BCS) currently undergoing adjuvant therapy. Methods: Participants completed baseline surveys and wore an accelerometer to measure MVPA during waking hours for nine consecutive days. Seven valid days were used by deleting the first and last day if nine were completed. 5-second epochs were used to provide a more sensitive estimate of MVPA levels. Results: BCS were recruited from the QEII Health Science Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Of the 114 approached 77 (68%) agreed to participate. 70 (91%) participants provided accelerometer data for =3 valid days. Participants were 57 years of age, 71% married, 50% employed, and had a BMI of 28kg/m2. 29% were meeting PA guidelines. Average MVPA and sedentary minutes per day was 42 (SD=28.3) and 595 (SD=74.0), respectively. Those meeting guidelines had significantly higher perceived control (p=.042), ease (p=.047), confidence (p=.003), and capability (p=.014). Conclusions: The results of this study show that the majority of BCS are not getting enough MVPA to gain health benefits, consistent with previous research. Additionally, they are sedentary for nearly 10 hours/day. Having higher confidence and self-efficacy to engage in PA was associated with meeting guidelines. Future research should identify strategies to decrease sedentary time.

Acknowledgments: This project is supported by the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation - Atlantic Division