Self-reported physical activity, sitting time, and mental and physical health among older cancer survivors compared with adults without a history of cancer

Academic Article


  • Background: To the authors' knowledge, few studies to date have examined associations between moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and sitting time with quality of life in cancer survivors compared with a cancer-free group. The current study examined differences in global mental health (GMH) and global physical health (GPH) across levels of MVPA and sitting among cancer survivors and cancer-free participants. Methods: Cancer Prevention Study II participants (59.9% of whom were female with an age of 77.8 ± 5.8 years) were grouped as: 1) survivors who were 1 to 5 years after diagnosis (3718 participants); 2) survivors who were 6 to 10 years after diagnosis (4248 participants); and 3) cancer-free participants (ie, no history of cancer; 69,860 participants). In 2009, participants completed MVPA, sitting, and Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System GMH/GPH surveys. Mean differences in GMH and GPH T scores across MVPA (none, 0 to <7.5, 7.5 to <15, 15 to <22.5, and ≥22.5 metabolic equivalent [MET]-hours/week) and sitting (0 to <3, 3 to <6, and ≥6 hours/day) were assessed using multivariate generalized linear models. Results: The mean GMH and GPH scores were statistically significantly higher in cancer-free participants compared with cancer survivor groups, although the differences were not clinically meaningful (mean difference of 0.52 for GMH and 0.88 for GPH). More MVPA was associated with higher GMH and GPH scores for all 3 groups (P for trend <.001), and differences between the least and most active participants were found to be clinically meaningful (mean differences of ≥4.34 for GMH and ≥6.39 for GPH). Similarly, a lower duration of sitting was associated with higher GMH and GPH scores for all groups (P for trend <.001), with clinically meaningful differences observed between the least and most sedentary participants (mean differences of ≥2.74 for GMH and ≥3.75 for GPH). Conclusions: The findings of the current study provide evidence of the importance of increased MVPA and decreased sitting for improved health in older adults with or without a prior cancer diagnosis.
  • Published In

  • Cancer  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Rees-Punia E; Patel AV; Nocera JR; Chantaprasopsuk S; Demark-Wahnefried W; Leach CR; Smith TG; Cella D; Gapstur SM
  • Start Page

  • 115
  • End Page

  • 123
  • Volume

  • 127
  • Issue

  • 1