Purpose: Physical activity improves the health outcomes of colorectal cancer (CRC) survivors, yet few are exercising at levels known to yield health benefits. Baseline demographic, clinical, behavioral, and psychosocial predictors of physical activity at 12 months were investigated in CRC survivors.
Methods: Participants were CRC survivors (n = 410) who completed a 12-month multiple health behavior change intervention trial (CanChange). The outcome variable was 12 month sufficient physical activity (≥150 min of moderate–vigorous physical activity/week). Baseline predictors included demographics and clinical variables, health behaviors, and psychosocial variables.
Results: Multivariate linear regression revealed that baseline sufficient physical activity (p < 0.001), unemployment (p = 0.004), private health insurance (p = 0.040), higher cancer-specific quality of life (p = 0.031) and higher post-traumatic growth (p = 0.008) were independent predictors of sufficient physical activity at 12 months. The model explained 28.6 % of the variance.
Conclusions: Assessment of demographics, health behaviors, and psychosocial functioning following a diagnosis of CRC may help to develop effective physical activity programs.
Implications for cancer survivors: Understanding the demographic, behavioral and psychosocial determinants of physical activity may facilitate the development and delivery of effective public health interventions designed to promote long term behavior change.