Macmillan believes physical activity is an underrated ‘wonder drug’ and that everyone living with or supporting someone with cancer, and other long-term conditions, should be aware of its benefits. Leading a physically active lifestyle during and after cancer is linked to improvements in many of the adverse effects of cancer and its treatments .
An active lifestyle helps overcome fatigue, anxiety and depression, while protecting the heart, lungs and bones. In some cases, being physically active has been shown to slow disease progression, improve survival and reduce the chance of recurrence .
Despite these benefits, only 23% of people living with cancer are active to recommended levels .
What is Macmillan doing to help?
Macmillan wants to ensure people living with cancer are encouraged and supported to be physically active at a level that is right for them – whether that’s doing the shopping, gardening, going for a walk, or sports such as swimming, football or bowls.
We're helping you to help others
Macmillan recognises the health benefits of moving more, and has developed models and resources to help people with cancer and other long-term conditions become more physically active and support behaviour change.
Physical activity forms part of the Recovery Package – a series of key interventions that, when delivered together, can greatly improve outcomes for people living with and beyond cancer. Being active also plays a part in prehabilitation, which is integral to the rehabilitation pathway.
Early interventions shortly after diagnosis can significantly improve a person’s ability to cope with treatments, improve quality of life and reduce the length of stay in hospital.