Large study finds exercise reduces risk of certain cancers

A study of 1.4 million adults published in JAMA shows that moderate to vigorous physical activity lowers the risk of 13 cancers.

While exercise has been known to reduce the risk of heart disease, the authors claimed that the association of exercise with cancer is not well understood. Their aim was to understand the relationship between exercise and the risk of developing certain kinds of cancer and they were also interested in whether this risk was affected by smoking or weight.

Their findings suggest that exercise reduces the risk of the following types of cancer: esophageal adenocarcinoma, liver, lung, kidney, gastric cardia, endometrial, myeloid leukemia, myeloma, colon, head and neck, rectal, bladder and breast.

What’s really interesting about this study is that the association between exercise and cancer risk held true for overweight individuals and people with a smoking history. It’s an important point to keep in mind for physiotherapists who are counselling inactive patients.