Not Taking Cancer Sitting Down
More than 170,000 Canadians are diagnosed with cancer every year. Although the debilitating disease kills about 75,000 Canadians annually, it is estimated that there are more than one million cancer survivors in Canada. Dr. Jeff Vallance, Canada Research Chair in Health Promotion and Chronic Disease Management, is exploring the role that physical activity programs can play in improving the health of cancer survivors and the negative impact of sedentary behaviour. Given that cancer survivors and the general population spend most of their waking hours in sedentary behaviour like sitting, Vallance believes it is critical to understand the health implications of sedentary lifestyles after a cancer diagnosis. Vallance aims to develop practical and sustainable health promotion programs that will facilitate physical activity, reduce sedentary behaviour and improve physical and psychosocial health outcomes for cancer survivors. He hopes to apply these behavioural change programs to primary care networks to ensure their sustainability. Vallance’s research will help develop a physically active population of cancer survivors that translates into fewer cancer recurrences, longer and healthier lives, and reduced burdens on the health-care system.