A too sedentary life increases the risk of cancer

How often do you usually do physical activity? The fact of having spent so many days locked up at home in recent months has caused many people to be tied to the sofa. Furthermore, teleworking has also caused us to pass more hours sitting at the computer on our desk. However, throughout confinement there have also been many options for exercising at home and not standing still.

A few days ago a study was published in the journal 'JAMA Oncology' that links leading a sedentary life with an increased risk of cancer in the future. Although several investigations have already been carried out that try to link the lack of physical effort with diseases as terrible as cancer, this is the first to monitor 8,000 participants with tracking devices for seven days in a row to get as objective data as possible about the amount of time they spent sitting or moving.

This is the first study to definitively show a strong association between not moving and cancer.

In this way, the scientists planned to discover what kind of effects it could have a lifestyle with little or no physical activity. Most surprisingly, none of the participants had cancer at the start of the study; however, five years after it was terminated, scientists discovered that 268 of them had died from this disease, according to Business Insider.

"This is the first study that definitively shows a strong association between not moving and cancer," the lead author of the research told CNN, Susan Gilchrist, an associate professor of cancer prevention at the Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas. 45% of the participants were men with a mean age of 69 years. Those who died, in addition to leading a more sedentary life, the majority were elderly, smokers and males, in addition to previous pathologies, especially coronary heart disease.

The study, however, did not provide further information on the type of cancer the participants died, so the researchers don't know for sure whether a sedentary lifestyle increases the risk for all types of cancer or just some.

Only 30 minutes

Hence the importance of regular physical exercise, even if it is minimal, such as going for a walk every day or riding a bicycle. In this sense, another study found that 30 minutes of physical activity (moderate or intense) They are usually associated with a 31% reduction in the risk of cancer. In the United States, the American Cancer Society recommends an average of 150 minutes of physical activity to prevent this deadly disease, although less than a quarter of the population meets these guidelines.

Make physical effort, even at low levels, not only prevents cancer, but also reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and, in general, it improves the state of the locomotor system (bones and muscles) to better face the aging process. In the same way, it is a powerful natural stressor, since when you exercise you release dopamine, the so-called hormone of happiness, which is why once you feel finished your body feels much more relaxed. Nothing to do with sitting or lying down all day, which definitely can't be good for your health.