The study found up to a 42 percent risk reduction in some cancers with increased moderate-intensity exercise.
Exercise has long been known to benefit our health and well-being but now a new study shows how it can significantly reduce the risk of developing a large range of cancers and the findings suggests the more exercise the better.
The study used findings from 12 large research studies from both the U.S. and Europe with almost 1.5 million participants. They were asked how much they exercised and how often with researchers noting cancer diagnoses over a nine to twenty-one year period.
The research found that exercising even as little as a couple of hours a week reduces the risk of developing major cancers such as breast, colon and lung cancer, as reported in UPI. What’s even better is the more exercise you do, the more protection from cancer you have as study lead author and investigator with the U.S. National Cancer Institute states, “The more activity, the more the benefit. As people did more, their risk continued to lower.”
The study was based on a variety of regular leisure-time physical activity and found to be linked to the reduction in 13 out of 26 types of cancer. These included esophageal, lung, liver, kidney, breast and colon cancer which all saw at least a 10 percent drop in risk with esophageal adenocarcinoma claiming the highest reduction with 42 percent.
Exercise guidelines are currently aimed at heart health with the recommended 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity a week – with around half of Americans not reaching this amount.
Although not completely sure of the association between exercise and cancer, Moore believes the link to cancer reductions is due to a decrease in levels of hormones that are associated with different cancers and possible lower levels of inflammation.
The authors concluded that “these findings support promoting physical activity as a key component of population-wide cancer prevention and control efforts.”
The findings were published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.