Washington: Cancer patients can improve their quality of life with just 30 minutes of walking, suggests a study.
The study appeared in the BMJ Open journal. The findings indicated that walking provided an improved positive attitude towards their illness and spoke of the social benefits of participating in group walks.
Researchers from the University of Surrey and King’s College London explored the impact of walking on the quality of life and symptom severity in patients with advanced cancer.
Despite growing evidence of significant health benefits of exercise to cancer patients, physical activity commonly declines considerably during treatment and remains low afterwards.
Initiatives in place to promote physical activity for those suffering with cancer are normally supervised and require travel to specialist facilities, placing an additional burden on patients.
The study was conducted on 42 cancer patients and was split into two groups.
Group one received coaching from an initiative by Macmillan Cancer which included a short motivational interview, the recommendation to walk for at least 30 minutes on alternate days and attend a volunteer-led group walk weekly.
The health benefits of walking are well documented, with improved cardio vascular strength and increased energy levels.
Group two were encouraged to maintain their current level of activity.
They found that those in group one, reported an improvement in physical, emotional and psychological wellbeing having completed the programme.
“Walking is a free and accessible form of physical activity, and patients reported that it made a real difference to their quality of life,” said lead researcher Dr Jo Armes from King’s College London, said:
“Further research is needed with a larger number of people to provide definitive evidence that walking improves both health outcomes and social and emotional wellbeing in this group of people,” Armes added. (ANI)