46,000, this is the number of cancers in a year, in the United States alone, which could be avoided by abounding a sedentary lifestyle and increasing physical activity. And to get these benefits is it necessary to dedicate yourself body and soul to sport? Absolutely not, at least 5 hours of physical activity per week are enough. This is what emerges from a very recent scientific research published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise by a group of scientists from the American Cancer Society (Minihan et al, Med. Sci. Sports Exerc, 2021).
The benefits of physical exercise
An active lifestyle helps protect the body from cardiovascular disease, inflammation, obesity and cellular degeneration. But to what extent can physical exercise protect against the risk of developing cancer? To answer this question, the American researchers developed a study that analyzed the health and lifestyle data of the participants in the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, a large survey started in 1984 and concerning the habits and health of the inhabitants of the United States. In particular, the researchers decided to evaluate the data collected from 2013 to 2016 and concerning all adults aged 30 and over.
The lack of physical activity increases the risk of cancer
What emerged is that 3% of all cancer cases recorded in the United States in the three-year period 2013-2016, about 46,000, are attributable to a sedentary lifestyle. A lifestyle is considered sedentary if physical activity is practiced for less than 5 hours per week. In particular, the organs most affected by the lack of physical exercise were found to be the stomach, endometrium, kidneys, colon, esophagus and finally the breasts and bladder.
The conclusion of the study is clear and is intended to be a further incentive for a healthy and active life, which includes at least or, even better, more than five hours a week dedicated to physical activity.