Physical activity and regular exercise are proven to reduce the risk of several diseases. The latest study shows the impact of regular physical activity on reducing the risk of cancer. An inactive lifestyle contributes to many diseases including obesity and heart problems. Now it also found linked to a high risk of death due to cancer.
According to the American Cancer Society, a person requires at least 150 minutes of physical activity every week to stay healthy. But the study shows that not more than a quarter of individuals in the US do this much physical activity.
The previous studies suggest that the inactive lifestyle leads to several diseases including cardiovascular problems and the risk of death due to cancer. The inactivity can be significantly reduced by spending less time while sitting.
The researchers from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston conducted a study on the effect of sedentary behavior of the people. The study involved 8,002 individuals age 45 years or above.
The researchers used accelerometers to track the activity of the participants. 3.3% of the participants died within the next five years of the study. The findings of the study showed that the participants with a sedentary time of around 52% had a higher risk of death due to cancer.
Other factors that impacted the mortality of the participants included the age of the participants. Regular smoking and alcohol consumption habits and underlying health conditions were also a contributing factor to the early death of these individuals.
This study published in the journal JAMA Oncology.
Dr. Susan Gilchrist is one of the researchers and led this study. She said that most of her patients complain that they do not have the time to exercise during the day. She asks them to stand up for at least 5 minutes after every hour. Also, taking the stairs instead of the elevator also helps. These might seem like small steps but have a great contribution to reducing the risk of death due to cancer.
People are more inclined to do some sort of physical activity instead of exercising. For some people, exercising seems like a lot to do. Therefore, they can do light physical activity such as standing for a few minutes throughout the day. This can greatly help reduce the number of deaths associated with cancer.
The authors mentioned in the study that they advise the people to replace their sedentary time with some sort of light physical activity. Apart from physical activity, other numerous factors lead to an increased risk of cancer mortality. These factors include gender and age. But the study shows that sedentary behavior has a great impact on the increased risk of several diseases.
Dr. Gilchrist says that a routine of movement for at least 30 minutes every day can help reduce the risk of cancer mortality. They give a public health message in their paper that people should incorporate physical activity into their lifestyle. This not only improves the general health but also the longevity and quality of life.