Role of Leisure Time Physical Activity in Cancer Prevention: Awareness and Practice among Medical Students at Cairo University

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Faculty of medicine ,Cairo University

2 Faculty of medicine Cairo University

3 Interns, Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt

4 faculty of medicine Cairo University

5 faculty of medicine,Cairo University


Background: Physical inactivity is accountable for a sizable proportion of breast and colorectal cancers and other non-communicable diseases. The higher the individual’s awareness about the protective role of physical activity (PA) in reducing chronic disease, the greater the adoption of PA will be. Objectives: To determine the level of leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) and awareness towards the role of LTPA in cancer prevention among a sample of Medical students at Cairo University, Egypt. Subjects and Methods: A cross-sectional study, with multistage sampling (a total of 519 students from second to six year students) and a self administered questionnaire covering the study objectives. Results: A significant decrease in the actual?? level of LTPA was noted with students’ year of enrollment at the medical school. However, their knowledge about roles of PA in preventing coronary heart, elevated blood pressure, and elevated cholesterol exceeded 80%, with steady increase in relation to the year of enrolment from the second to 6th years. Their knowledge about PA preventive influence for cancer was low irrespective of the year enrolment (32.2% for prevention of colon and 16.2% for breast cancers). The main sources of knowledge about the role of PA in cancer prevention were the internet and media (77%). Conclusion: The students demonstrated a decline in their LTPA coupled with poor knowledge about the role of LTPA in cancer prevention. Revision of the current curricula should be considered with inclusion of more information on the role of LTPA in cancer prevention to facilitate better awareness of medical students and through them their future patients.


Main Subjects