BACKGROUND: Previous literature has reported that regular physical activity enhances health-related quality of life for cancer patients. However, there is a lack of studies that focus on physical activity among postoperative esophageal cancer patients. OBJECTIVE: The aims of this study were to (1) describe the prevalence of physical activity among postoperative esophageal cancer patients, (2) explore variables related to physical activity (demographics, nutrition, dysphagia, and health-related qualify of life), and (3) examine potential reasons for inactivity among participants who scored low using case studies. METHODS: In this cross-sectional design, physical activity was evaluated by the Japanese version of the International Physical Activity Questionnaire. Variables were analyzed using Spearman rank correlation coefficients, Mann-Whitney U tests, or Fisher exact tests. RESULTS: Fifty-eight patients participated in this study; 79% met the recommended physical activity guidelines. Present occupational status and past leisure-time physical activity behavior before the cancer diagnosis were related to current leisure-time physical activity and meeting the guidelines postoperatively. Participants who scored 0 (little or no activity) in the questionnaire also scored low in health-related quality of life. CONCLUSIONS: Participants performed especially well in physical activity related to leisure time and transportation. Positive reinforcement is needed for patients who perform adequate levels of physical activity, and reviewing the benefits of regular physical activity is encouraged for all. IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: Occupational status and past leisure-time physical activity before diagnosis can be indicators for promoting physical activity among postoperative esophageal cancer patients. Inactive participants should be supported to promote both physical activity and health-related qualify of life.
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