Evidence is building that strength training may reduce complications associated with cancer such as fatigue, muscle wasting, and lymphedema, particularly among breast and prostate cancer survivors. Population estimates are available for rates of aerobic physical activity; however, data on strength training in this population are limited. The objective of this study was to identify rates of meeting public health recommendations for strength training and aerobic activity among cancer survivors and individuals with no cancer history.
Data from the Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS), Iteration 4 Cycle 1 and Cycle 2 were combined to conduct the analyses. Missing data were imputed, and weighted statistical analyses were conducted in SAS.
The proportion of individuals meeting both strength training and aerobic guidelines were low for both cancer survivors and those without a history of cancer. The odds of meeting strength training guidelines were significantly lower for women with a history of any cancer except breast, compared with women with no history of cancer (OR: 0.70, 95% CI: 0.51−0.96).
More work needs to be done to understand why women with cancers other than breast, may be less inclined to engage in aerobic physical activity and strength training.