The hours we spend sitting at home, at workplace, in class, driving from and to places, using computers or watching TV are all as bad as couch-potato lifestyle! These sedentary hours may be increasing our risk for cancer, just as the time we spend exercising can reduce this risk.
Well, the connection between lack of exercise and the increased risk for heart disease is well established by now; however, the association between a "couch potato" lifestyle and cancer risk is a relatively new!
A study published last week show that there is now convincing evidence that being physically active reduces the risk of both colon and breast cancers!
Of course it is important to exercise daily, but if the rest of your time is spend sitting, we have a problem! Regular exercise can reduce the risk up to 35 % for colon cancer and 25 % for breast cancer. And yes, there is a dose response: the more you are active, the lower the risk. The connection that lies between obesity and risk of cancer is through hormones, insulin resistance, and increasing inflammation - among others - that are all affected by one's sedentary versus active lifestyle. So just sitting around can increase our markers of inflammation and can actually cut years off our lives!
|We need more of this at work!|
Therefore moving at work is crucial to aid in decreasing cancers risk!
The American Institute for Cancer Research includes tips for getting active at work:
- You can stretch your neck, your upper body, your forearms, your lower back while sitting or standing!
- Take a short walk, even down the hall, every hour. Set the timer on your phone or computer to remind you. Just take a trip to that water dispenser, get some water. This way you can stay hydrated, loosen up and stretch a bit. This has been shown to help decrease constipation, so there you go!
- If possible, take a walk with coworkers to discuss issues; not just by email.
- Use light weights while you're on the phone or reading emails.
- Walk around while you talk on the phone.
- Use an office wall for stretching, doing vertical pushups or leg lifts.