Exercise behavior, motivation, and maintenance among cancer survivors

Jeff Vallance, Lauren Spark, Elizabeth Eakin

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Previous chapters have highlighted the importance of regular and sustained exercise across the cancer continuum. However, recent exercise prevalence figures indicate that the overwhelming majority of cancer survivors are not exercising at levels required for the accrual of health benefits. Therefore, Exercise and cancer researchers are faced with the challenge of developing effective strategies that motivate cancer survivors to initiate and sustain exercise behavior. This chapter provides an overview of (a) current exercise prevalence estimates among cancer survivors, (b) factors that motivate survivors to engage in regular and sustained exercise, (c) exercise maintenance (defined as continuing to engage in regular exercise for at least 6 months after the end of an intervention as reported by Vallance et al. (Am J Health Behav 34:225-236, 2010); Bock et al. (Ann Behav Med 23:79-87, 2001); van Stralen et al. (Health Educ Res 25:233-247, 2010)) after clinical exercise and exercise behavior change interventions for cancer survivors, (d) recommendations for examining exercise maintenance among cancer survivors, and (e) practical implications for health care providers. Understanding the factors that affect exercise behavior, motivation, and maintenance may help practitioners, researchers, and clinicians in developing effective exercise behavior maintenance programs for cancer survivors. Such programs are critical given the recent evidence suggesting that increased exercise may be associated with a lower risk of recurrence, cancer specific mortality, and all-cause mortality for breast and colon cancer survivors.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationExercise, Energy Balance, and Cancer
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781461444930
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan. 2013


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