The Impact of Physical Activity for Cancer Prevention: Implications for Nurses

Semin Oncol Nurs. 2016 Aug;32(3):255-72. doi: 10.1016/j.soncn.2016.05.006. Epub 2016 Jul 29.


Objectives: To discuss the significant issues surrounding the prescribing of physical activity as a first line of defense against the development of age-associated life-limiting illnesses such as cancer while providing strategic knowledge for clinicians regarding its prescription and management.

Data sources: Literature review on physical activity in cancer prevention.

Conclusion: There is growing evidence that reduced physical activity increases the risk of co-morbid conditions such as cancer, yet there is limited clinician education and subsequent prescription of physical activity.

Implications for nursing practice: Nurses in partnership with other primary care clinicians have a unique opportunity to effect change of our nation's greatest modifiable public health threat, physical inactivity.

Keywords: cancer; chronic disease; exercise; exercise prescription; physical activity; physical inactivity; sedentary.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Exercise Therapy*
  • Exercise*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Oncology Nursing / methods*
  • Patient Education as Topic / methods*
  • Sedentary Behavior