Cancer patients invited to ‘Move More’ as part of digital physical activity project
The GetActive project has been funded by Macmillan Cancer Support and is being delivered as part of the charity’s physical activity programme, Move More Aberdeen.
Participants in the Move More programme can choose from a range of activities specifically designed for people affected by cancer including walking groups, a gentle movement class, circuits-based activity classes and gardening.
The new service will enhance this programme by providing people with a wearable tracking device, developed by Scottish walking charity Paths for All in partnership with Storm Health, so they can manage and improve their physical activity levels outside of classes.
The information will be automatically synchronized through an android or iOS app and uploaded to a customised physical activity platform for logging, monitoring and reporting physical activity.
Move More Aberdeen will then use the data to support and motivate participants to feel the benefits of being more physically active.
Traditionally cancer patients have been told to rest but research by Macmillan has shown that being active during and after treatment can improve physical and emotional health and help to minimise the side effects of treatment.
Existing Move More participants, new referrals to the programme and those who want to get active without attending classes are being invited to take part in the pilot project which is being delivered by Paths for All in partnership with Sport Aberdeen.
Emma Berry, Senior Development Officer at Paths for All, said: “We want to empower people living with cancer to manage and improve their levels of physical activity over a year.
“They will be able to monitor their levels of physical activity, set step count targets and receive support from a Move More Coordinator.”
“Recording levels of physical activity will ensure they don’t do too much physical activity, but also encourage them to do enough activity.”
After signing up to the programme, participants will have access to the supported GetActive service for a year.
Ian Rae, 51, was diagnosed with bladder cancer two years ago. However, a routine check-up in January found the cancer had spread to his muscles, lung and other parts of his body.
“The diagnosis was a shock to the system big time for someone like me,” he says. “I did marathons, I went to the gym six days a week, I never smoked and didn’t drink a lot. I was also a vegetarian for 20-odd years.”
He underwent aggressive chemotherapy before having an operation to remove his bladder, prostate and part of his bowel in August.
Following the operation, his Macmillan nurse suggested he join the circuits class run by Move More Aberdeen at Sheddocksley Sports Centre.
“The treatment really took it out of me. It was rough at times. After the operation, it was a struggle to walk. Doing the classes is helping me get my confidence and fitness back.
“The instructor is there to help and guide you through. I am trying to turn my setback into a comeback.”
Ian is also using the GetActive tracker to monitor his steps.
“It’s pretty straight forward. Every evening you log onto the page and click update and it syncs with the tracker. You can look back every day and over the weeks to see how you have improved.
“I started with 3,000 steps a day but I have been building it up from there to 8,000 steps. It’s baby steps but I’m getting there.”