BackgroundPhysical activity (PA) is a safe and effective strategy to help mitigate health challenges associated with breast cancer (BC) survivorship. However, the majority of BC survivors are not meeting the minimum recommended PA (≥150 min of moderate to vigorous intensity). Project MOVE was developed as a model for increasing PA that combined a) Microgrants: funds ($2000) awarded to applicant groups to develop and implement a PA initiative and b) Financial incentives: a reward ($500) for increasing group PA. The purpose of this paper was to provide an exploratory analysis of effectiveness of Project MOVE on PA behavior, PA motivation, and quality of life (QoL) in female BC survivors. The differential outcomes between women meeting and not meeting PA guidelines were also investigated.MethodsThis pre-post test, preliminary trial included groups of adult (18+ years) self-identified female BC survivors, who were post-surgery and primary systemic chemo- and radiation therapy, and living in British Columbia, Canada. PA was assessed by accelerometry. PA motivation and QoL were assessed by self-report. Data were collected at baseline, 6-months, and 12-month time points. Repeated measures mixed ANOVAs were used to test changes in the main outcomes.ResultsA total of 10 groups were awarded microgrants between May 2015 and January 2016. Groups comprised of 8 to 12 women with a total of 87 participants. A statistically significant increase was found between time points on weekly moderate to vigorous PA (p = .012). This was mediated by a significant interaction between those meeting PA guidelines and those not meeting guidelines at baseline by time points (p = .004), with those not meeting guidelines at baseline showing the greatest increase in MVPA. A statistically significant difference across time points was found for intrinsic motivation (p = .02), physical functioning (p < .001), physical health limitations (p = .001), emotional health limitations (p = .023), social functioning (p = .001) and general health (p = .004).ConclusionThese results provide promising support for a unique approach to increasing PA among BC survivors by empowering women and optimizing PA experiences through the use of microgrants and financial incentives.Trial registrationClinicalTrials.gov NCT03548636, Retrospectively registered June 7, 2018.