Sedentary lifestyle may increase your risk of cancer

By: Emily Lunardo | Cancer | Friday, June 16, 2017 - 07:30 AM

sedentary-lifestyle-cancerWe often think that cancer is the direct result of having bad habits such as smoking or drinking too much. While this is true to a certain degree, a new study has found that simply being a couch potato increases your risk of kidney and bladder cancer, regardless of whether or not you are obese.

Inactivity is dangerous

It can be hard to stay active during our busy lives, with inactivity only increasing as we get older. A lack of physical activity is known to be a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and other conditions, but most people don’t know that it increases cancer risk.

The researchers of this study hope their findings will help motivate inactive people to engage in some form of physical activity throughout their lives.

The study in question included 160 kidney cancer patients, 208 bladder cancer patients, and 766 people that displayed no signs of cancer at all. According to the researchers, the cancer risks were similar whether or not these people were obese.

It was found that a lifetime of recreational activity was associated with a 73 percent increase risk of bladder cancer and a 77 percent increase of kidney cancer.

It doesn’t take much to stay active

These findings suggest that inactivity may be a significant factor for cancer development.

“You don’t have to run marathons to reduce your cancer risk, but you have to do something — even small adjustments like taking the stairs instead of the elevator, walking around the block a couple of times on your lunch hour or parking the car far away from the store when you go to the supermarket,” said study senior author Kirsten Moysich, a professor of oncology at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, N.Y.

The researchers go on to say that this study stresses the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle that incorporates getting exercise and staying active.

Current recommendations set by the Department of Health and Human Services suggests getting 150 minutes of moderate physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity each week. This is a habit that generates significant lasting health benefits.

Related: Hour of exercise combats negative effects of sedentary lifestyle

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