Walking for 1 hour or more daily was associated with a 14% lower risk for breast cancer, and high physical activity (>42 metabolic equivalent hours per week) was associated with a 25% lower risk, compared with the risk for most sedentary women, according to findings from a large prospective study published online October 4 in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers, and Prevention.
“Our results clearly support an association between physical activity and postmenopausal breast cancer, with more vigorous activity having a stronger effect,” senior author Alpa Patel, PhD, from the Epidemiology Research Program, American Cancer Society, Atlanta, Georgia, said in a news release. “Our findings are particularly relevant as people struggle with conflicting information about how much activity they need to stay healthy.”
Among women who reported walking as their only recreational activity, those walking 7 or more hours per week had a 14% lower risk than those walking 3 or fewer hours per week (95% CI for RR, 0.75 – 0.98). Sitting time was not associated with breast cancer risk. ER status, BMI, weight gain, and PMH use did not affect the observed inverse associations between physical activity and postmenopausal breast cancer.
Although current guidelines recommend at least 2.5 hours per week of moderate-intensity activity, or 75 minutes per week of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity, for adults to improve overall health, less than half of US adult women achieve these activity levels. So there you have it: Get out of that chair and go! I’m Dr. Hunter.
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