Don't Just Sit There
Stay active all day to reduce cancer risks
Did you know that sitting for 6 or more hours daily can elevate your chances of dying from cancer and other major diseases – even if you maintain a healthy weight and don’t smoke?
This startling finding emerged from a review of data from the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Prevention Study II (CPS-II). Researchers concluded that:
- Women who sat for six or more hours daily faced a 37% greater risk of death as compared to those who sat for three hours or less.
- For men, the increased risk of death for those who sat at least six hours daily was 17%.
- Those who did not exercise regularly and also sat for long periods faced even greater mortality rates – a startling 94% higher for women and 48% higher for men.
Easy ways to get moving
Of course, these deadly patterns reflect health issues beyond cancer – conditions such as heart and respiratory disease and diabetes, to name a few.
Even so, the link between physical activity and cancer prevention has been confirmed through decades of research.
What to do if you have a “desk job” – or drive for several hours at a stretch every day? Here are helpful suggestions from our experts for adding bursts of activity to your daily routine.
- Take the stairs whenever possible.
- Exercise at lunch with colleagues or friends.
- Visit co-workers in person instead of e-mailing.
- Walk or bike when doing personal errands.
- In the office, stand up and stretch, walk or lift hand weights.
- When driving, stop every two hours for a walk or mini-workout.
Get fit and fight cancer – your way
The Society offers free online tools to help you outline daily choices for a lifetime of good health. Visit EatRightGetActive.org to create the program that’s best for you.
Growing a Healthy Future
Funded by an American Cancer Society grant, an innovative program in Decatur, Illinois helps kids learn to eat well and stay active for a lifetime of good health.
Decatur is Growing Gardeners, or DIGG, gave area youth the chance to build and plant several new vegetable gardens in 2011. “Kids are fascinated by gardening,” says DIGG President Sue Hemp, noting that young people are more eager to taste vegetables they’ve grown themselves.
Constructing and planting the raised beds helped kids get moving in the fresh air and sunshine, another healthy dividend.
The gardens will yield at least 10,000 pounds of fresh produce to be shared among the young gardeners and local food pantries. One-third of the bounty will be sold at farmer’s markets and produce stands to provide extra funding for DIGG’s activities, which include community education in partnership with Decatur Public School District 61.
One-third of all cancers can be prevented by eating well, staying active and maintaining a healthy weight.
Source: American Cancer Society Cancer Prevention Study II.