New research published by JAMA Oncology has found that a sedentary lifestyle is linked with a higher risk of cancer death.
The study, which was conducted between 2009 to 2012 and a followup between 2019 and 2020, studied more than 8 thousand patients. The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center investigated the correlation between physical activity and cancer mortality using hip-mounted accelerometers worn during waking hours for seven consecutive days. The participants were U.S. middle-aged and older adults. People under active cancer treatment did not participate in the study.
Results showed that swapping 30 minutes of idleness for some light exercise can reduce the risk of death by cancer by almost 10 per cent. According to researchers, light exercise can include activities such as slow walking, light gardening and even yoga.
Previous studies on the subject have used different methodology and data, relying on self-reported information. The use of an accelerometer is said to be more precise, objective and reliable.
“Cancer is a leading cause of death in U.S. adults, although more than 50 per cent of cancer deaths are preventable through healthy lifestyle choices”, said the authors.
If the activity was moderate or intense the risk of cancer mortality dropped by 31 per cent. This type of exercise increases breathing yet allows those partaking to have a conversation easily. Brisk walking, water aerobics and dancing are some of the examples under this category.
Authors recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate to intense physical activity weekly as an ideal goal for the prevention of cancer. Researchers said that only 25 per cent of U.S. adults are currently meeting these guidelines, which is considered a low adherence.
The American Heart Association recommends being active for at least 300 minutes (five hours) per week.
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