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Objectively Assessed Physical Activity Levels in Spanish Cancer Survivors

Ana Ruiz-Casado
Ana Soria Verdugo
María J. Ortega Solano
Itziar Pagola Aldazabal
Carmen Fiuza-Luces
Lidia Brea Alejo
Julio R. Padilla del Hierro
Isabel Palomo
Oscar Aguado-Arroyo
Nuria Garatachea
Héctor Cebolla
Alejandro Lucia
ONF 2014, 41(1), E12-E20 DOI: 10.1188/14.ONF.E12-E20

Purpose/Objectives: To objectively assess physical activity (PA) levels in a cohort of Spanish cancer survivors.

Design: Descriptive, cross-sectional.

Setting: The Hospital Universitario de Fuenlabrada and two healthcare centers in Madrid, Spain.

Sample: 204 cancer survivors and 115 adults with no history of cancer.

Methods: Participants wore a triaxial accelerometer for seven or more consecutive days to assess PA levels. Body mass index (BMI), indirect indicators of adiposity (waist circumference, waist-to-hip ratio), and cardiorespiratory fitness also were determined.

Main Research Variables: Light, moderate, vigorous, and total PA (sum of the former).

Findings: Most (94%) of the cancer survivors met international recommendations for moderate PA, but very few (3%) fulfilled those (75 minutes or more per week) for vigorous PA. Except for lower total (minute per day, p = 0.048) and vigorous PA levels (p < 0.001 for both minute per day and minute per week) recorded in the cancer survivors group, no between-group differences were detected (p > 0.05). A high percentage of the survivors (33%) were obese (BMI greater than 30 kg/m2), and many also showed poor cardiorespiratory fitness (45% were below the 8 metabolic equivalent threshold).

Conclusions: Although cancer survivors overall met international PA recommendations for a healthy lifestyle, their BMI and cardiorespiratory profiles were not within the healthy range.

Implications for Nursing: Cancer survivors need to be informed about healthy lifestyle habits and should be regularly monitored.

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