, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp 54-61

Physical activity type and intensity among rural breast cancer survivors: patterns and associations with fatigue and depressive symptoms

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Abstract

Introduction

Our study aims were to describe physical activity patterns and associations with fatigue and depressive symptoms among rural breast cancer survivors.

Methods

Population-based, mailed survey of 483 rural breast cancer survivors including the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ).

Results

With regard to type and intensity, domestic/gardening and moderate intensity accounted for the largest percentage of total energy expenditure (i.e., 60% and 69%, respectively). MET-mins/week variables were categorized as 0, > 0 to < 500, and ≥ 500 to reflect sedentary, insufficient, and meets current public health recommendations. After adjustment, fatigue was significantly associated with domestic/gardening (mean fatigue for sedentary, insufficient, and meets recommendations were 18.9, 16.4, and 13.4, respectively; p = .0019), leisure activity (means were 16.0, 14.5, and 11.8, respectively; p = .047), moderate intensity (means were 18.4, 16.7, and 13.7, respectively; p = .011), and daily minutes sitting (means for ≤ 120 min, > 120 to ≤ 360 min, and > 360 min of sitting were 12.5, 14.2, and 17.2, respectively; p = .0029). Fatigue was not associated with occupational, transportation, walking, or vigorous activity. After adjustment, only leisure activity was associated with depressive symptoms (means for sedentary, insufficient, and meets recommendations were 7.8, 7.7, and 6.2, respectively; p = .039).

Conclusions

Physical activity measurement tools that do not include domestic/gardening activities may underestimate physical activity in rural breast cancer populations. Physical activity associations with fatigue and depressive symptoms differed based on physical activity type and intensity suggesting hypotheses related to exercise effects on fatigue and depressive symptoms.

Grant support

This project was supported by a grant from the American Cancer Society, Illinois Division (#PSB05-03). Dr. Rogers, Dr. Courneya, Dr. McAuley, and Dr. Verhulst are supported by the National Cancer Institute Grant 1R01CA136859-01A1. Dr. Rogers and Dr. Verhulst are supported by the National Cancer Institute Grant 1R21CA135017-01A2. Dr. Courneya is also supported by the Canada Research Chairs Program. Dr. McAuley is also supported by Grant 2-R56 AG20118 and a Shahid and Ann Carlson Khan Professorship in Applied Health Science. No personal or professional relationships that may represent a potential conflict of interest exist for this manuscript.