University of Dundee University of Dundee
Text only

28 February 2013

Cancer survivors invited to 'move more' to boost physical and mental wellbeing

Press call: 1.30pm, Friday March 1st
Institute of Sport and Exercise
University of Dundee
Clinicians, patients and the Move More team involved in the project will be available for interview

People in Dundee living with and beyond cancer are being invited to 'Move More' to improve their physical and mental wellbeing.

The University of Dundee's Institute of Sport and Exercise (ISE) has launched the Move More Dundee project to encourage people living with a cancer diagnosis to stay active or become more active.

Strong evidence gathered by the Dundee team over recent years has shown that keeping active during and after cancer treatment can help improve physical and emotional wellbeing and may reduce the risk of the disease returning.

A pilot for the project involving a group of men with prostate cancer has proved popular. One of the participants, 68-year old retired engineer Mike Dolan, said he found the sessions both enjoyable and beneficial.

"At my last check-up at Ninewells Hospital I was asked if I'd like to take part in a trial programme of resistance exercise for men recovering from prostate cancer," said Mike. "I hadn't set foot in a gym for 30 years but I was very impressed by the range of facilities and the expert assessment and guidance provided.

"Although I consider myself to be a fairly active person - I do a lot of walking, cycling, gardening & D.I.Y. etc. - I was really surprised by the improvement both physically and mentally at the end of the six week programme. I found it very enjoyable working out with the other seven or eight guys on the programme and knowing we had each been through similar problems with the same disease was also very helpful."

Fellow Move More member Ron Thomson (65) agrees. "It's been brilliant," he said. "The last time I was in a gym was when I was at school. I have kept fit in other ways playing golf, walking and dancing but it has been fun trying something different. Having the routine of weekly sessions also made it easier and the social aspect of it all is a bonus."

The Move More programme follows on from ISE's highly successful and popular Active ABC project for women living with breast cancer.

Set up in 2011 by Dr Anna Campbell, lecturer in Clinical Exercise Science at the University, Active ABC provided specially designed exercise classes for women who had been diagnosed with breast cancer.

It was based on research carried out by Dr Campbell and colleagues which showed significant health benefits from exercising including improved physical functioning, quality of life and more positive mood.

A five-year follow up study also showed that a similar programme in Glasgow had lasting benefits with women who remained active being aerobically fitter, more positive and significantly less depressed than those who had been less active.

The ABC programme at ISE was so popular and the health benefits so apparent to all that attended that Dr Campbell and her colleagues decided to extend it to people with other types of cancer. People can be referred to the programme from any one of nine cancer clinics at Ninewells Hospital.

Hazel Ednie, Move More Programme Coordinator, explained that, "At the moment a few of the participants coming along are people who self referred. However, we are working with the cancer health care professionals at Ninewells to establish a referral process into the Move More programme. This referral pathway model is similar to the Cardiac Rehab Referral programme for coronary heart disease patients but is for people in Dundee who are living with cancer.

"The consultation with the NHS staff has been very positive and work is ongoing during this first year of the programme."

The Move More programme has received start-up funding from national charity 'Breast Foot Forward' following their first Twilight Walk in Dundee last year.

The charity decided that all the money raised by the walk would stay in Dundee in support of the Move More Programme and the many Tayside cancer survivors who would benefit from accessing it.

The programme consists of a range of physical activity options tailored to suit each individual who is referred to the team at ISE. The Move More participants are offered a phone consultation, one to one consultation, a home programme, or may be signposted to a programme elsewhere including Macmillan Day Care or Maggies in Dundee. For most individuals, the Move More programme at ISE will include weekly group exercise sessions, an individual gym programme and/ or ongoing support.

For more information on the Move More Dundee programme, contact Hazel Ednie at

For media enquiries contact:
Roddy Isles
Head. Press Office
University of Dundee
Nethergate, Dundee, DD1 4HN
TEL: 01382 384910
MOBILE: 07800 581902