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Sitting Tied to Increased Cancer Risk

Posted: November 8, 2012 at 12:59 pm
Categories: Research

Sitting without interruption is tied to a greater incidence of obesity, diabetes, and kidney and cardiovascular disease. Research also ties it to an increased risk of cancer.

This isn’t breaking news. Research on the link exists from as far back as 1997. But I just discovered this illustration depicting the connection on the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) website.

The image shows how your cancer risk changes based on your number of short breaks—Hotseat’s focus—and sustained moderate to vigorous activity. Moderate to vigorous activity is the type you’re used to being told you need. The CDC recommends you get a total of 150 minutes of moderately intense exercise each week.

Take a look at Joe’s day (view it larger on AICR’s site). Joe fits moderate activity into his day, like Kim and Mike. But Joe’s risk of cancer is the lowest of the bunch. The reason? Joe routinely gets up throughout the day to take a small activity break.

As the article notes:

“‘Sitting time is emerging as a strong candidate for being a cancer risk factor in its own right,’ Neville Owen, PhD, Head of Behavioral Epidemiology at Australia’s Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute. ‘It seems highly likely that the longer you sit, the higher your risk. This phenomenon isn’t dependent on body weight or how much exercise people do,’ said Dr. Owen.

Recent evidence suggests that key indicators of cancer risk are lower when prolonged sitting is interrupted with brief (1-2 minute) breaks.”

Read the full article.

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