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Revista médica de Chile

Print version ISSN 0034-9887


CONCHA-CISTERNAS, Yeny et al. Physical activity and sedentary behaviors among people with cancer. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2020, vol.148, n.2, pp.168-177. ISSN 0034-9887.


One of the side effects of cancer treatment is a low level of physical activity (PA) due to fatigue and pain.


To quantify PA levels in Chilean people with cancer.

Material and Methods:

Analysis of the National Health Survey 2016-2017 including 6,233 participants, comparing those with and without a self-report of cancer was conducted. Levels of PA and sitting time were assessed using the Global Physical Activity Questionnaire.


3% of participants [confidence intervals (CI): 2.6; 3.9] reported having cancer and 34% [95% CI: 22.7; 46.7] of these reported being physically inactive, compared to 25% [95% CI: 22.5; 27,3] of those without cancer. Participants with cancer performed 56 and 77 minutes/day lower vigorous and total PA than participants without cancer. No differences between groups were observed for commuting PA, moderate PA and sedentary time. Lower level of PA was independent of the years elapsed since the diagnosis of cancer.


People with cancer are less physically active than their counterparts without the disease.

Keywords : Exercise; Neoplasms; Sedentary Behavior.

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