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Exercising for least 5 hours per week helps to prevent cancers: Researchers

*Experts say it is significant for consumers to avoid a sedentary lifestyle to maintain good health

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

A fresh study conducted by researchers from the American Cancer Society is emphasising the protective health benefits associated with regular exercise.

ConsumerConnect gathered the study findings disclosed the consumers may lower their risk of some cancers, including stomach and endometrial cancers, by exercising for at least five hours every week.

The researchers, for the study, analysed data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, and the United States (US) Cancer Statistics database to better understand how physical activity can work to reduce cancer risk.

The team looked specifically at consumers aged 30 and older between 2013 and 2016; they assessed the risk for seven different cancers: stomach, kidney, esophageal, colon, bladder, breast, and endometrial, agency report said.

The researchers learned that regularly exercising for at least five hours per week does provide some protective health benefits related to cancer.

However, they learned that the opposite was also true ─ inactivity can increase the risk of cancer.

In this study, 3 percent of all cancer cases, or nearly 47,000 cases, were a result of sedentary lifestyles.

Exercise must be encouraged, say researchers

Similarly, the experts learned that there were different risk factors associated with physical activity for different types of cancers.

Stomach cancers topped the list, as nearly 17 percent of all cases of stomach cancer were linked with inactivity.

Comparatively, 11 percent of kidney cancer cases and nearly 4 percent of bladder cancer cases were associated with sedentary lifestyles.

While these results highlight how beneficial exercise can be for long-term health, the researchers explained that the findings also emphasise disparities in access to recreational physical activity.

The researchers wrote: “These findings underscore the need to encourage physical activity as a means of cancer prevention and implement individual – and community-level interventions that address the various behavioral and socioeconomic barriers to recreational physical activity.”

They also noted that “understanding and reducing the behavioral and socioeconomic barriers to physical activity is essential for optimising intervention strategies targeting at-risk groups across the country.”

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