Exercise linked to lower risk of cancer

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Following recommended physical activity guidelines may help reduce the risk of seven different cancers, according to a new study. Image: Mypurgatoryyears / Istock.com via AFP Relaxnews

A new US analysis has found that reaching recommended weekly levels of physical activity may reduce the risk of developing seven different cancers.

Led by researchers from the National Cancer Institute, the American Cancer Society and the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, the new analysis examined nine existing studies including a total of 755,459 participants to determine whether meeting recommended amounts of d physical activity is linked to a lower risk of 15 different cancers.

The updated guidelines recommend that people aim for 2.5 to 5 hours per week of moderate-intensity activity, or 7.5 to 15 METs (metabolic task equivalent) per week. The MET measures an individual’s energy expenditure, with a MET being defined as the energy required to sit quietly. Moderate intensity activities burn three to six times more energy per minute than a quiet sitting position (3 to 6 METs) and vigorous intensity activities burn more than 6 METs.

After asking participants to self-report their level of physical activity, the researchers then followed them for 10.1 years.

The results, published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, showed that engaging in recommended amounts of activity (7.5 to 15 MET hours per week) was associated with a statistically lower risk in seven of the 15 types of cancer. included in the study, compared to not doing any physical activity. The team also found that the more the participants exercised, the lower the risk.

Among these 15 cancers, physical activity was linked to a lower risk of colon cancer in men (8% lower risk for 7.5 MET hours per week and 14% lower risk for 15 MET hours per week) , lower risk of breast cancer in women (6% to 10%), endometrial cancer (10% to 18%), kidney cancer (11% to 17%), myeloma (14% to 19%) ), liver cancer (18% to 27%) and non – Hodgkin lymphoma in women (11% to 18% less risk).

The researchers admitted that their analysis had some limitations. For example, although the total number of participants was large, the number of participants studied for certain cancers was limited. Additionally, participants were predominantly Caucasian, and participants self-reported their level of physical activity, an error-prone method.

However, the authors still concluded that “these results provide direct quantitative support for recommended activity levels for cancer prevention and provide actionable evidence for current and future cancer prevention efforts. “

“The physical activity guidelines have been largely based on their impact on chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease and diabetes,” said study author Dr Alpa Patel. “These data strongly support that these recommended levels are also important for cancer prevention. ” IB / JB

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