Background: It has been proved that participating in exercise improves colorectal cancer patients’ prognosis.This study is to identify barriers to exercise in Korean colorectal cancer patients and survivors. Materialsand
Methods: A total of 427 colorectal cancer patients and survivors from different stages and medical statuscompleted a self-administered questionnaire that surveyed their barriers to exercise and exercise participation.
Results: The greatest perceived exercise barriers for the sampled population as a whole were fatigue, low levelof physical fitness, and poor health. Those under 60-years old reported lack of time (p=0.008), whereas thoseover 60 reported low level of physical fitness (p=0.014) as greater exercise barriers than their counterparts.Women reported fatigue as a greater barrier than men (p<0.001). Those who were receiving treatment ratedpoor health (p=0.0005) and cancer-related factors as greater exercise barriers compared to those who were notreceiving treatment. A multivariate model found that other demographic and medical status were not potentialfactors that may affect exercise participation. Further, for those who were not participating in physical activity,tendency to be physically inactive (p<0.001) and lack of exercise skill (p<0.001) were highly significant barriers,compared to those who were participating in physical activity. Also, for those who were not meeting ACSMguidelines, cancer-related exercise barriers were additionally reported (p<0.001), compared to those who were.
Conclusions: Our study suggests that fatigue, low level of physical fitness, and poor health are most reportedexercise barriers for Korean colorectal cancer survivors and there are differences in exercise barriers by age,sex, treatment status, and physical activity level. Therefore, support for cancer patients should be providedconsidering these variables to increase exercise participation.