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Support Care Cancer. 2013 Jan;21(1):139-47. doi: 10.1007/s00520-012-1501-0. Epub 2012 May 26.

Sport participation in colorectal cancer survivors: an unexplored approach to promoting physical activity.

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  • 1Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation, University of Alberta, E-488 Van Vliet Center, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, T6G 2H9.



Physical activity improves health outcomes in colorectal cancer (CRC) survivors, but participation rates are low. One understudied strategy for increasing physical activity in CRC survivors may be sport participation. Here, we report the sport participation rate, sport preferences, and correlates of sport participation among CRC survivors.


A provincial, population-based mailed survey of CRC survivors in Alberta, Canada was performed and included measures of sport participation, sport preferences, sport benefits and barriers, and medical and demographic variables.


A total of 600 CRC survivors completed the survey (34 % response rate). Almost a quarter (23.0 %) of CRC survivors reported participating in a sport in the past month, with the most common sport being golf (58.7 %). In multivariate regression analysis, 33.0 % (p = 0.001) of the variance in sport participation was explained by being male (β = 0.12; p = 0.006), in better general health (β = 0.12; p = 0.006), and ≥ 5 years post-diagnosis (β = 0.09; p = 0.031). The most common barriers to sport participation were time, age/agility, and no interest/dislike of sports. The most common anticipated benefits of sport participation were improved physical fitness, meeting people, and improved health. Over half (57.2 %) of CRC survivors were possibly interested in learning about sport participation opportunities.


Promotion of sport participation may be a potentially fruitful strategy for increasing physical activity in CRC survivors.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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