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20-minute brisk walk could reduce risk of seven cancers

By Adaku Onyenucheya
30 December 2019   |   12:52 am
A recent study has shown that people who engage in two-and-a-half hours of moderate exercise a week have lower odds of getting seven types of cancer.The study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, showed that the amount of exercise could be a brisk daily walk of just over 20 minutes

A recent study has shown that people who engage in two-and-a-half hours of moderate exercise a week have lower odds of getting seven types of cancer.The study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, showed that the amount of exercise could be a brisk daily walk of just over 20 minutes or a non-strenuous bicycle ride. Researchers, however, looked at whether people were active for seven-and-a-half to 15 ‘metabolic equivalent’ hours a week.

This works out at between two-and-a-half and five hours of moderate activity, such as walking or light cycling, or 75 and 150 minutes of vigorous exercise, such as tennis or jogging.

The study found that this amount of exercise could reduce the risk of liver cancer by 18 per cent, or almost a fifth, in both male and female. This rose to 27 per cent for the equivalent of five hours a week of moderate exercise.In the study, breast cancer risk for women fell by six per cent for two-and-a-half hours of moderate exercise, or 10 per cent for five hours, while the risk of kidney cancer in both male and female fell by 11 per cent for two-and-a-half hours of moderate exercise, or 17 per cent for five hours.

The results suggest exercise partly cuts cancer risk as it helps weight loss. But noted that active people, even when they do not lose weight, could gain protection against some cancers.

The researchers followed 755,549 people in the study for a decade on average. Dr Alpa Patel, a co-author of the study from the American Cancer Society, said: ‘The exciting thing about these results is that they demonstrate engaging in a short amount of regular moderate-intensity activity, like a brisk walk, can provide tremendous benefits for the risk of getting various types of cancer.

‘That is good news for the many people who, when they hear they should exercise more for their health or cancer prevention, think that means something drastic like having to start training for a marathon.’

The National Health Service recommends people get at least two-and-a-half hours of moderate physical activity a week, or at least 75 minutes of vigorous exercise.

Meanwhile, women who did the recommended amount of activity were up to 18 per cent less likely to get womb cancer than those who were inactive.They were also up to 18 per cent less likely to get non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, according to the study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

While, men who did the recommended amount of physical activity were up to 14 per cent less likely to get colon cancer.Both sexes saw a reduced risk of up to 19 per cent for the blood cancer myeloma.

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