Study: Walking Decreases Risk of Breast Cancer

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Good news everyone: reducing the risk of breast, and other, cancers may be as easy as going for a walk. A new study says that walking for seven hours per week can seriously reduce your chances of getting the disease. That's just an hour per day.

Women who participated in the study, published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, were asked to fill out a survey about their health and activity levels, including how much time they spent participating in exercises like walking, jogging, or aerobics.

Researchers studied around 73,000 women for 17 years and found that the instances of cancer in post-menopausal women who listed walking for at least an hour per day as their only physical activity were 14 percent lower than their less active counterparts who walked three or fewer hours per week.

It's long been said that exercise can help reduce cancer risks, but this is the first study to explicitly look at the more moderate activity of simply talking a walk.

Women who participated in more vigorous activity reduced their risk for cancer by 25 percent. It's important news —especially in a society where sedentary jobs and lifestyles are often the norm. Another study out this week revealed that cases of breast cancer in black women are on the rise.

“We are seeing what happens when we introduce these activities into daily life. We have more of an understanding about of the role of physical activity and obesity as it relates to cancer. Earlier research has shown the benefits of exercise for diabetes and obesity prevention, but we are learning more and more about it’s influence on cancer,” said Alpha Patel, senior epidemiologist at the American Cancer Society.

The new information comes at a perfect time, as Breast Cancer Awareness Month and its many charity cancer walks kick off.

Another good reason for all of us to get moving.