You probably already know that exercise is good for your health. New research goes a step further – suggesting that sitting actually increases your risk of developing cancer.

Researchers at the National Cancer Institute said in a study released last week that sitting for just one hour can increase your risk of developing nine different types of cancer. Even with regular exercise, long periods of sitting can boost your cancer risk.

To stay healthy and reduce your risk of cancer, the National Cancer Institute recommends:

  • 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week and
  • 75 minutes of intense exercise per week.

“We’ve known for some time that exercising helps to improve your overall health and reduce your risk of cancer,” said Cynthia Plate, MD, a surgeon with Adventist HealthCare Adventist Medical Group with a specialty in surgery for breast cancer. “This study really highlights the health risks of a sedentary lifestyle.”

“Anything you can do to get on your feet, whether it’s doing chores, standing more at work or taking walks, helps to cut your risk of developing cancer,” she added.

In addition to regular exercise, Dr. Plate suggests these simple lifestyle changes to help prevent cancer.

  • Get an annual physical and have the proper annual screenings
  • Eat at least two-and-a-half cups of fruits and vegetables daily
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Limit your caffeine intake
  • Avoid alcohol
  • Do not smoke
  • Get seven to 10 hours of sleep per night

“And of course, if you have a family history of cancer or any concerns, talk with your doctor to see what screenings you should consider,” adds Dr. Plate.

Try our FREE Breast Cancer Risk Assessment to estimate your 5-year and lifetime risk of breast cancer.