Table_1_Determinants of Health and Physical Activity Levels Among Breast Cancer Survivors During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Cross-Sectional Study.DOCX
Increased exercise and physical activity levels are recommended throughout cancer therapy and survivorship. Nonetheless, the COVID-19 pandemic and consequent social distancing are likely to cause a decline in physical activity.Objective
to evaluate the level of unsupervised physical activity of breast cancer survivors during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the factors associated with difficulties in engaging and maintaining recommended physical activity levels.Methods
This is a cross-sectional epidemiological study with a sample of 37 breast cancer survivors. They participated in a canoeing training program (project Remama) at the University of São Paulo before the COVID-19 pandemic. Socioeconomic aspects, engagement in physical activity, motivation, and potential exposure to COVID-19 were investigated through an online survey, administered in September of 2020.Results
During the pandemic, participants increased their body weight (5 ± 3.4 kg); 90% reported decreasing physical activity levels associated with increased sedentary time. Twenty-one (58%) participants exhibited some COVID-19-related symptoms, most used public transportation (59%), or returned to work during the period of a high incidence of COVID-19. The only factor associated with perceived difficulty in engaging in physical activities was having had more than three cancer treatments (RR: 2.14; 95% CI: 1.07–4.27).Conclusion
The COVID-19 pandemic led to a group of previously active breast cancer survivors to decrease their physical activity, gain weight, and have sedentary behavior. Specific tailored-care interventions are needed to prevent these occurrences, as overweight and physical inactivity may impose an additional risk for breast cancer recurrence and a severe course of COVID-19 in cancer patients.