Hitting the gym isn’t the only way to get the benefits of being active. Doing just four to five minutes of “vigorous physical activity” could slash the cancer risk of those who are generally inactive, according to a new study.
Researchers from the University of Sydney in Australia analyzed data of more than 22-thousand non-exercising adults with an average age of 62 who wore fitness trackers. The team then followed the cancer-related diagnoses, hospitalizations and deaths for the participants for several years afterward.
- They found that participants who did daily vigorous intermittent lifestyle physical activity (VILPA) for an average of four and a half minutes a day had a 32% lower risk of “physical activity-related cancer incidence,” including kidney, bladder, stomach and lung cancers.
- Participants who only got 3.4 to 3.6 minutes of activity per day saw a 17% to 18% reduction in cancer risk.
- Study authors define VILPA as “brief and sporadic bouts of vigorous physical activity during daily living.” So people didn’t have to work out to lower their risk, activities like climbing stairs, carrying heavy grocery bags, household chores and playing high-energy games with kids totally count.
“It’s quite remarkable to see that upping the intensity of daily tasks for as little as four to five minutes a day, done in short bursts of around one minute each, is linked to an overall reduction in cancer risk by up to 18%, and up to 32% for cancer types linked to physical activity,” explains lead author Emmanuel Stamatakis. “The potential impact on cancer prevention and a host of other health outcomes is enormous.”
Source: NY Post