Effects of moderate vs. high intensity exercise on functional fitness & quality of life in cancer survivors

Kellie TOOHEY, Kate PUMPA, Julie COOKE, Leonard Arnolda, Desmond YIP, Paul Craft, Stuart SEMPLE

Research output: Contribution to conference (non-published works)Abstractpeer-review


Background: Although the incidence of cancer has increased in Australia, improvements in early detection and therapy have resulted in survival gains and a reduction in cancer specific mortality. The effects of exercise on reducing the burden of cancer among patients and survivors has been well reported, however, little is still known regarding the impact that different exercise intensities may have on functional capacity and quality of life in this cohort. Aim: To determine the effect that moderate vs. high intensity exercise has on selected functional fitness parameters and quality of life. Methods: Cancer survivors were randomly assigned into a high (n=8) or moderate (n=8) intensity 36 session (12 week) supervised exercise program. The high-intensity group (HIG) performed interval training (≥ 85% maximal heart rate) and the moderate intensity group (MIG) performed continuous aerobic training (≤ 55% maximal heart rate). Data was analysed using Stata® and GraphPad Prism® (GraphPad Software, Inc. CA, USA). The Mann-Whitney U test was utilised to compare measurements between the two groups and the Wilcoxon signed-rank test was used to compare pre and post-intervention measures within each group. Significance was set at p < 0.05. Results: The MIG showed an improvement in QoL score of (P=0.032) and waist measures (P=0.0288). The HIG showed improvements in QoL (P=0.0137), weight (P=0.0173), waist measures (P=0.014), SBP (P=0.028), FSTS (P=0.0117) and 6MWT (P=0.0116). Conclusion: Preliminary findings show improvements in QoL and functional fitness with greater percentage changes being observed for those engaged in the high intensity exercise. A larger sample size is required to confirm the clinical significance of these findings. Implications: The results from this pilot study would tend to suggest that high intensity interval training is well received and imparts favourable benefits for exercising cancer survivors.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2015
EventBehavioural Research in Cancer Control Confernce : Bridging the Gap - Syndey, Australia
Duration: 12 May 201515 May 2015
Conference number: 12


ConferenceBehavioural Research in Cancer Control Confernce


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