A recent study published in JAMA Oncology has shown that just a few minutes of intense physical activity each day can help lower the risk of cancer in people who haven't been very active before.
Researchers from the University of Sydney in Australia conducted this study by looking at information from 22,398 adults, with an average age of 62, who weren't used to doing regular exercise. These people wore activity trackers for a week, and their health was watched over several years, including whether they got cancer, went to the hospital, or passed away.
The study found that people who did short bursts of vigorous physical activity, like climbing stairs, carrying heavy bags, doing chores around the house, brisk walking, or playing active games with kids, for about 4.5 minutes each day, had a 32% lower chance of getting cancer linked to physical inactivity.
This type of cancer includes kidney, bladder, stomach, and lung cancers. Even those who did slightly shorter bursts of activity, around 3.4 to 3.6 minutes daily, had a 17% to 18% lower risk of developing cancer.
Professor Emmanuel Stamatakis, who led the study at the University of Sydney, said, "We know most middle-aged people don't exercise regularly, which increases their cancer risk. But with activity trackers, we can see how small bits of everyday physical activity help."
It's important to note that the study had a limitation: 96% of the people studied were of White ethnicity. This means more research is needed to understand if the same benefits apply to people from different ethnic backgrounds.
In conclusion, this study reminds us that even a little bit of daily physical activity can have a big impact on our health, reducing the risk of certain cancers. So, whether it's taking the stairs or playing with your kids, every small effort counts towards a healthier life