Effect of walking on circadian rhythms and sleep quality of patients with lung cancer: a randomised controlled trial

Br J Cancer. 2016 Nov 22;115(11):1304-1312. doi: 10.1038/bjc.2016.356. Epub 2016 Nov 3.


Background: Sleep disturbances and poor rest-activity rhythms, which can reduce the quality of life, are highly prevalent among patients with lung cancer.

Methods: This trial investigated the effects of a 12-week exercise intervention including home-based walking exercise training and weekly exercise counseling on 111 lung cancer patients. Participants were randomly allocated to receive the intervention or usual-care. Outcomes included objective sleep (total sleep time, TST; sleep efficiency, SE; sleep onset latency, SOL; and wake after sleep onset, WASO), subjective sleep (Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, PSQI), and rest-activity rhythms (r24 and I<O). Outcomes were assessed at baseline and 3 and 6 months after intervention.

Results: The PSQI (Wald χ2=15.16, P=0.001) and TST (Wald χ2=7.59, P=0.023) of the patients in the exercise group significantly improved 3 and 6 months after intervention. The moderating effect of I<O on TST was significant (β of group × I<O=3.70, P=0.032).

Conclusions: The walking program is an effective intervention for improving the subjective and objective sleep quality of lung cancer patients and can be considered an optional component of lung cancer rehabilitation.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Circadian Rhythm*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Life
  • Sleep*
  • Walking*