Physical activity and cancer: A cross-sectional study on the barriers and facilitators to exercise during cancer treatment

Stephanie Fernandez, Jenna Franklin, Nafeesa Amlani, Christian DeMilleVille, Dana Lawson, Jenna Smith


The purpose of this investigation was to explore the barriers and facilitators to exercise in individuals with cancer in Ontario. A cross-sectional study using an online survey was used to collect qualitative and quantitative data. A convenience sample was used to recruit individuals with a current or previous diagnosis of any type of cancer. Percentages and themes were obtained from the data.

Data were collected from 30 participants if which 63.3% reported infrequent, low intensity physical activity during treatment. Barriers to exercise during treatment included physical symptoms and lack of awareness of exercise programs. Facilitators for exercise were past positive experience with exercise and accessibility. More than 80% of participants did not receive education on the importance of exercise.

The findings of this study should encourage health care professionals working in oncology to provide patient education on the importance of exercise.

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