Associations of objectively assessed physical activity and sedentary time with health-related quality of life among colon cancer survivors

Cancer. 2014 Sep 15;120(18):2919-26. doi: 10.1002/cncr.28779. Epub 2014 Jun 4.


Background: The primary purpose of this study was to determine associations of accelerometer-assessed moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity (MVPA) and sedentary time with health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and physical function and well-being in colon cancer survivors.

Methods: Colon cancer survivors (N = 178) from Alberta, Canada (n = 92) and Western Australia (n = 86) completed a mailed survey that assessed HRQoL (Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Colorectal), physical function and well-being (Trial Outcome Index-Colorectal), and relevant covariates. MVPA and sedentary time were assessed using the Actigraph GT3X+ accelerometer (60-second epochs) via a 7-day monitoring protocol. Average daily MVPA and sedentary time was corrected for wear time and then examined as quartiles.

Results: Adjusting for relevant demographic, behavioral, and clinical covariates, a significant difference in HRQoL scores emerged between quartile 1 (Q1) and Q4 (M(diff) = 11.5, P = .038). For physical function and well-being, a significant difference emerged between Q1 and Q4 (M(diff) = 9.1, P = .009). For fatigue, a significant difference emerged between Q1 and Q4 (M(diff) = 7.1, P = .05). Significant differences were also observed for between Q1 and Q3 (M(diff) = 2.4, P = .041), and Q1 and Q4 (M(diff) = 3.5, P = .002) for colorectal cancer-specific symptoms. There were no statistically significant associations of sedentary time with HRQoL, physical function and well-being, fatigue, or colorectal cancer-specific symptoms.

Conclusions: Objectively measured MVPA, but not sedentary time, was associated with better HRQoL, physical function and well-being, and colorectal cancer-specific symptoms in colon cancer survivors. For MVPA, differences met or exceeded contemporary cutpoints for determining clinically important differences.

Keywords: accelerometer; health-related quality of life; physical activity; sedentary time.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Australia / epidemiology
  • Body Mass Index
  • Canada / epidemiology
  • Colonic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Colonic Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Colonic Neoplasms / therapy
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Fatigue / etiology
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Activity
  • Prognosis
  • Quality of Life / psychology*
  • Registries
  • Risk Factors
  • Sedentary Behavior*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Survivors