Walking Improves Overall Wellbeing in Advanced Cancer Patients

Walking Improves Overall Wellbeing in Advanced Cancer Patients

In a recently published article (BMJ Open), it was found that patients at advanced stages of cancer who walked for 30 minutes at least 3 times a week experienced enhanced quality of life.

The study was made up of patients with advanced stages of breast, gynecologic, hematologic or prostate cancers. This group was also considered at higher risk of undergoing psychological and/or physical health problems.

Especially noted in the study, were quality of life and how severe patient symptoms were. Notwithstanding all the supporting evidence of substantial health benefits, physical activity decreases significantly throughout cancer treatment and continues to be low after treatment. One theory for exercise being reduced and staying reduced is that patients with advanced cancer are normally supervised and their exercise programs tend to require travel to and from facilities with the appropriate specialists.

Increasing evidence shows that walking can alleviate many health concerns like depression, cardiovascular disease, insomnia, diabetes and more.

Overall, the study included 42 patients with advanced cancer. These patients were randomly divided between a walking program and a regular care program.

The patients in the walking program participated in a short but motivating interview. Additionally, they were advised to walk for a minimum of 30 minutes on alternating days while attending a weekly volunteer-led group walking activity.

Patients in the regular care program were motivated to remain steady in their existing levels and intensity of exercise.

The results of this research and the study showed participating patients in the walking program group showed better quality psychological, physical, and mental wellbeing after finishing the program. Many patients described how walking changed their attitudes about cancer. These patients also exhibited a more positive attitude about the benefits of social interaction in a walking program/group.

“The importance of exercise in preventing cancer recurrence and managing other chronic illnesses is becoming clear,” said Emma Ream, professor of Supportive Cancer Care and director of research in the School of Health Sciences at the University of Surrey and co-author of the study, said in a press release.

Further details and a PDF file of this study are located HERE.

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