Say It Ain't So. Too Much Sitting Increases Cancer Risks?
Ominous news, folks! Do you have a job that requires you to be sitting at your computer with only an hour for lunch and a few intermittent breaks during the day? No, this has nothing to do with the eyes or hands. It has to do with resting for long periods of time on your backside, which, let's face it, doesn't get a whole lot of exercise unless you are a skilled unionist in the trades, a Barista at Starbucks, an active trader on the floor of the stock exchange, or a professional athlete.
Studies which tie cancer to a lack of physical exercise and sitting for hours at a time, (49,000 cases of breast cancer and 43,000 cases of colon cancer occurring in the U.S. annually, linked to sedentary lifestyle) were presented at an annual conference of the American Institute for Cancer Research in Washington, D.C.
One by Senior Research Epidemiologist, Christine Friedenreich, Ph.D. of Alberta Health Services-Cancer Care in Canada provided the latest evidence of the protective link between physical activity and various cancers. (AICR Annual Research Conference) Based upon her recent study, and findings from others, Friedenreich reported that engaging in moderate activity, like brisk walking, can significantly reduce the risk of certain cancers.
"In breast and colon cancers, for example, we're seeing overall risk reductions of about 25 to 30 percent associated with higher levels of physical activity. With prostate cancer the evidence isn't as strong but it's still there - about 10 to 20 percent lower risk. For endometrial cancer, we are finding about 30 to 35 percent risk reduction with more physical activity." (AICR Annual Research Conference)
Another expert said the new findings do support a connection between sedentary lifestyles and cancer. Director of breast surgery at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City, Dr. Freya Schnabel, said "there is beginning to be evidence that the way obesity increases the risk of cancer is through an increase in inflammation in the body, and by doing exercise you can lower the makers of inflammation, which might lower the risk of cancer." But she stressed that more research is needed to clarify these links. (Steven Reinberg, Health Day Reporter, MSN)Continued on the next page