Document Type : Research Articles
Nutritional Sciences Programme, Faculty of Health Sciences, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Jalan Raja Muda Abdul Aziz, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Center for Community Health Studies (ReaCH), Faculty of Health Sciences, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Jalan Raja Muda Abdul Aziz, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, School of Health Sciences, International Medical University, Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Center for Healthy Ageing and Wellness (H-CARE), Faculty of Health Sciences, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Jalan Raja Muda Abdul Aziz, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Background: Increasing physical activity and reducing sitting time was recommended to cancer survivors after cancer treatment for sustained health and to enhance the quality of life. This study aimed to determine the association of physical activity and sitting time with quality of life among the Malay breast and gynaecological cancer survivors. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among 95 breast and gynaecology cancer survivor subjects. The Malay International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) was used to assess physical activity and sitting time. Quality of life was assessed using the Malay EORTC QLQ-C30 questionnaire. Sociodemographic, clinical characteristics and anthropometric measurements were also obtained in this study. Results: The mean age of the subject was 51.8 ± 7.7 years old and the duration of survivorship was 4.3 ± 3.4 years. A total of 76.8% of subjects were categorized as having low physical activity level with a mean MET 403.5 ± 332.7 minutes/week and sitting time of 416.9 ± 151.0 minutes/day. Overall, subjects aged 50 years and above (p=0.006), widowed (p=0.032), retired (p=0.029) and had other non-communicable diseases (p=0.005) showed lower levels of physical activity. Increased physical activity had a positive effect on physical function (r=0.2, p=0.038), reduced insomnia (r=-0.3, p <0.001) and constipation symptoms (r=-0.3, p=0.012) domains of quality of life. The longer the sitting period showed more severe insomnia symptoms (r=0.2, p=0.03) but improved social function (r=0.2, p=0.012). Conclusions: Increasing physical activity and reducing sitting time have a positive effect on the quality of life of cancer survivors. The focus of health education should be prioritized to older adults (50 years and above), widows, retirees, and those with other comorbidities as they are at risk of being not physically active.