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No time for exercise? This activity reduces risk of cancer


A representational image of people while jogging on a track. — Unsplash/File
A representational image of people while jogging on a track. — Unsplash/File

Studies have already suggested that working out can reduce cancerous cells in bodies, however, proper workouts and going to the gym is time-consuming for many people, with less research on the topic of incidental exercise.

The incidental activities include doing little walks for work-related tasks and participating in housework on a routine basis. For these exercises, no special time and equipment is required.

A new study — published in JAMA Oncology — explored the benefits of such exercises which include short walks to get to the transport, stair climbing, carrying heavy shopping and so.

The study participants were selected who never had cancer and did not work out in their free time.

With the help of a wrist tracker, their routine was monitored. The participants’ activities were then linked to future cancer registrations, including other cancer-associated health records for the next 6.7 years.

The researchers reported that about 94% recorded short bursts of vigorous activity with some 92% of all bouts being done in very short bursts lasting up to one minute.

“A minimum of around 3.5 minutes each day was associated with a 17–18% reduction in total cancer risk compared with not doing any such activity,” research indicated.

The scientists concluded that half the participants did at least 4.5 minutes a day, associated with a 20–21% reduction in total risk.

For breast, lung, and bowel cancers, the results were stronger and the risk reduction sharper.

For instance, a minimum of 3.5 minutes per day of vigorous incidental activity reduced the risk of these cancers by 28–29%. At 4.5 minutes a day, these risks were reduced by 31–32%.

Despite the results, researchers said that this is an observational study which means they looked at a group of people and their outcomes retrospectively and did not test new interventions.

This activity is promising in cancer prevention among those unable to exercise.


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