Study shows that five hours of physical activity per week can prevent certain cancers


Washington: New research has found that more than 46,000 cases of cancer per year in the United States could be prevented if Americans adhered to the recommended five hours per week of moderate-intensity physical activity. The results of the study were published in the journal “Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise”.

Data showed that three percent of all cancer cases in adults in the United States aged 30 and older between 2013 and 2016 were attributable to physical inactivity and the proportion was higher in women (annual average attributable cases 32,089) compared to men (14,277).

For men and women, the states with the highest proportion of cancers attributable to physical inactivity were in the South, such as Kentucky, West Virginia, Louisiana, Tennessee and Mississippi, while the proportions the weakest were found in the mountain region and northern states, such as Utah, Montana, Wyoming, Washington, and Wisconsin.

Led by Adair Minihan, MPH at the American Cancer Society, this is the first study to estimate the number of cancer cases attributable to physical inactivity based on cancer sites (breast, endometrium, colon, stomach, kidney, esophageal adenocarcinoma and bladder) by condition.

Data show that by focusing on specific cancer sites, 16.9% of stomach cancers, 11.9% of endometrial cancers, 11.0% of kidney cancers, 9.3% of colon cancers, 8.1% of esophageal cancers, 6.5% of female breast cancers and 3.9 percent of bladder cancers were associated with lack of exercise. By state, the proportion of cancer cases attributable to physical inactivity ranged from 2.3% in Utah to 3.7% in Kentucky.

While these data have shown the importance of physical activity, there are many barriers to recreational physical activity, including, but not limited to, lack of time due to long hours working in low-income jobs. paid, the cost of gym memberships or equipment, lack of access to a safe environment in which to be active, and potential childcare costs associated with recreational physical activity.

Unfortunately, these barriers are more likely to affect historically marginalized populations, including the Black population and those with limited incomes, underscoring the importance of improving health equity.

“These results underscore the need to encourage physical activity as a means of cancer prevention and to implement interventions at the individual and community level that address the various behavioral and socioeconomic barriers to recreational physical activity. Understanding and reducing behavioral and socioeconomic barriers to physical activity is critical to optimizing intervention strategies targeting at-risk groups across the country, ”the authors wrote.

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Posted on: Saturday October 16, 2021, 7:01 am IST

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