New Study Links Physical Activity to Lower Cancer Rates
A new study reveals that an active lifestyle that includes brisk walking, gardening, housework and other activities is linked to a reduced chance of breast cancer. This is the largest study that researches the effects of physical activity on breast cancer and is a part of the ongoing research led by EPIC (the European Prospective Investigation of Cancer).
Scientists studied over eight thousand cases of breast cancer and discovered that the group of women who were physically active, have a 13% lower chance of developing breast cancer. The same study also revealed that even a moderate daily activity reduces the chance of cancer development by almost 8%.
Precedent studies have estimated that physical activity is also related to a reduced risk of other cancers, not only breast cancer. Estimations show that almost 3% of breast cancers, 4% of womb cancers and 5% of colon cancers are in direct link to the fact that people spend less than 150 minutes per week for physical activity.
One of the authors of the study, professor Tim Key, who is an epidemiologist at the University of Oxford, UK, said that this study accentuates the importance of physical activity in everyday life. He added that recent studies have shown how important physical activity is in reducing the risk of bowel cancer, concluding that future studies are necessary in order to investigate the mechanisms that stand behind this connection.
Doctors and governmental authorities recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity every week. Unfortunately, only 39% of men and less than 30% of women manage this weekly.
The director of information from Cancer Research UK, Sara Hiom, said that “While maintaining a healthy body weight and cutting back on alcohol remain two of the best ways of reducing our risk of breast cancer, being active can clearly play a role too but doesn’t have to cost you money or too much time”.
She also said that there’s no need for an excessive or intense workout. Normal and moderate exercise and physical activities such as gardening, walking the dog, brisk walking or daily housework should suffice. She also added that small changes in our everyday routine can make a big difference. These changes could include taking the stairs instead of the elevator or walking to school instead of using public transportation.
“Keeping active could help prevent more than 3,000 cases of cancer in the UK every year. And it can have a positive effect on your health”, she concluded.