Publish date9 Nov 2011 - 10:10
Story Code : 70515

'Sitting disease' increases cancer risk

People who have a sedentary lifestyle and sit at their table for a long time are at a higher risk of developing different forms of cancer.
A new report presented at the annual conference of the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) warned that sedentary life could lead to more than 90,000 new cases of breast tumors and colon cancer registered in the US each year.

After reviewing over 200 studies worldwide which included 123,000 people, Christine Friedenreich and colleagues found that “sitting disease” or sitting too long without moving around may be associated with 49,000 cases of breast cancer and 43,000 cases of colon cancer.

“This gives us some idea of the cancers we could prevent by getting people to be more active,” said Friedenreich, epidemiologist at Alberta Health Services in Calgary, Canada. “This is a conservative estimate…The more physical activity you do, the lower your risk of these cancers.”

Researchers also found that regular physical activity reduces the risk of breast, colon and endometrial cancers by 25 to 30 percent. There's some evidence showing that regular exercise may also reduce the risk of lung, prostate and ovarian cancer as well.

Some studies have suggested that 30 minutes of brisk walk per day can reduce risk of breast cancer and colon cancer. Experts, however, warn that even daily exercise is not enough and people should move around for some minutes during their working hours.

The new study highlighted that if a person exercises for 30 minutes a day, which is the recommended amount of physical activity, he is only active for ۳ percent of his or her day.

“Even among individuals who were regularly active, the risk of dying prematurely was higher among those who spent more time sitting,” said American Cancer Society epidemiologist Alpa Patel.

Having a regular exercise routine isn't enough, added Patel. “You have to get up and take breaks from sitting.”
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