In a recent study from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, researchers found that greater inactivity was independently linked to a higher risk of dying from cancer.
The most sedentary individuals had an 82% higher risk of cancer mortality compared to the least sedentary individuals.
The findings show that the amount of time a person spends sitting prior to a cancer diagnosis is predictive of time to cancer death.
This is the first study that definitively shows a strong association between not moving and cancer death.
The study is published in JAMA Oncology. One author is Susan Gilchrist, M.D., associate professor of Clinical Cancer Prevention.
In the study, the team involved a cohort of participants from the nationally representative REGARDS study, which recruited more than 30,000 U.S. adults over the age of 45 between 2003 and 2007 to study long-term health outcomes.
To measure sedentary behavior, 8,002 participants who did not have a cancer diagnosis wore an accelerometer on their hip during waking hours for seven consecutive days.
The accelerometer data was gathered between 2009 and 2013. After a mean follow-up of 5 years, 268 participants died of cancer.
Longer duration of sedentary behavior was independently linked to a greater risk of cancer death.
The study also found that engaging in either light or moderate to vigorous physical activity made a difference.
The team showed that replacing 30 minutes of sedentary time with physical activity was linked to a 31% lower risk of cancer death for moderate-intensity activity, such as cycling, and an 8% lower risk of cancer death for light-intensity activity, such as walking.
These findings reinforce that it’s important to ‘sit less and move more’ and that incorporating 30 minutes of movement into your daily life can help reduce your risk of death from cancer.
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