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Physical Activity Associated With Decreased Risk of Seven Types of Cancer

The Department of Health and Human Services recommends that adults get between 2.5 and 5 hours per week of moderate intensity activity or between 75 minutes and 2.5 hours of per week of vigorous intensity activity. A new study suggests that meeting these physical activity guidelines may help lower the risk of seven types of cancer.

For their study, the researchers used data from 7 studies that included self-reported leisure time physical activity and follow-up of incidences of cancer. The studies included 755,459 participants who were followed for an average of 10.1 years.

Participants who met the leisure time physical activity guidelines were found to have a statistically significant lower risk of seven types of cancer. Specific decreases were 8-14% for colon cancer in men, 6-10% for female breast cancer, 10-18% for endometrial cancer, 11-17% for kidney cancer, 14-19% for myeloma cancer, 18-27% for liver cancer, and 11-18% for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in women. 

The study was conducted by researchers from the National Cancer Institute, the American Cancer Society, and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. It was published online ahead of print on December 26, 2019 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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