Tuesday 12th June 2012
Elaine McNish, Macmillan Physical Activity Manager, on getting active
Around 1.6 of the UK’s two million cancer survivors are not doing enough exercise, despite the many benefits to be gained at all stages of the cancer care pathway.
Macmillan recently published a report that gives health and social care professionals and commissioners an overview of the evidence for interventions to promote physical activity.
The report, Interventions to promote physical activity for people living with and beyond cancer: evidence based guidance [PDF, 533Kb], shows that there is good evidence to support the promotion of physical activity throughout the cancer care pathway. Some of the evidence-based approaches include:
- oncologist-recommended exercise programmes
- motivational interviewing and other types of behavioural counselling
- referral to supervised gym-based exercise
- walking, including pedometer programmes.
The report gives examples of how to promote physical activity at each stage of the care pathway so that personalised plans can be developed.
It also shows that the most successful interventions need to be delivered as part of a planned and integrated service, where professionals are trained in behavioural change techniques and clear signposting opportunities, such as exercise referral schemes, have been identified.
It follows Macmillan’s evidence review [PDF, 199Kb], which found that keeping active before, during and after cancer treatment can preserve or improve physical function and psychological well-being, reduce the negative impact of some cancer-related side effects, and potentially reduce the risk of cancer recurrence and increase survival.
In this issue of Mac Voice, you can read how Macmillan professionals are already implementing physical activity schemes for their patients.
Contact Elaine McNish, Macmillan Physical Activity Manager on 020 7091 2475 or email Elaine.
Order Macmillan's Move More pack, which aims to support people with cancer to become more active.