Friday, July 6, 2012

A symposium on behavior change at the European College of Sport Sciences annual meeting

The last couple of days the European College of SportS Science met in Bruges for its annual meeting. Most of the program is indeed dedicated to science on sport and exercise, but there is also interest in physical activity and health. Related to the latter, Prof. Stuart Biddle of Loughborough University organised a symposium at the meeting on behavior change regarding physical activity and sedentary behaviors. I provided a talk on the determinants of physical activity behavior first. Then Prof Ilse de Bourdeaudhuij presented her research on the Ghent 10,000 steps program - an intervention to promote daily physical activities, promoting accumulation of the equivalent of at least 10,000 steps per day, and then Prof. Biddle presented his work on the Sedentary Time ANd Diabetes (STAND) project. The 10,000 steps Ghent studies are very impressive. Prof de Boudeaudhuij and her colleagues have studied the effects, the reach, implementation and adoption and have explored the cost effectiveness of this intervention, all with quite impressive outcomes. The program has been widely adopted and is a positive example of evidence-based promotion of physical activity.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Fatigue mediates the relationship between physical fitness and quality of life in cancer survivors.

In a study just published in the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sports, with Dr. Laurien Buffart as first author, we aimed to investigate whether fatigue mediates the association between physical fitness and quality of life in cancer survivors, i.e. to explore if cancer patients who are physically more fit have higher quality of life because of reduced fatigue .
We used data from an intervention study. The intervention was an 18-week exercise program for cancer patients consisting of high-intensity resistance and interval training. We assessed physical fitness - peak oxygen uptake and peak power output - self-reported fatigue and quality of life. 
We found significant associations between changes in physical fitness and global quality of life, between physical fitness and fatigue, and between fatigue and global quality of life. General fatigue strongly mediated the positive association between physical fitness and quality of life; our analyses further indicated that physical aspects of fatigue were stronger mediators than mental aspects.