A new study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that increased physical activity was associated with lower risks of 13 different types of cancer. The researchers from the National Cancer Institute have gathered data from 12 studies from US and Europe with a median 11-year follow-up period and although data was self-reported we’re talking 1.4 million participants from 1987 to 2004.
The findings include gastrointestinal cancers, liver, kidney, bladder, and lung cancers as well as myeloid leukemia and myeloma. Physical activity is also linked to lower risk of endometrial cancer (21%) and 10% less risk of breast cancer.
The overall risk of cancer drops by 7 per cent, if you are more physically active. One curious finding showed that higher levels of physical activity were associated with a risk of malignant melanoma (skin cancer), which is another argument in favor of sunscreen and against UV beds and tanning.
It’s a timely study as well. Summer is a perfect time for some increased physical activity, hikes, cross-country, rock climbing, and simple roller skating can whip your butt in shape (provided you aren’t loading with ice-cream). Just be sure to always wear a protective sunblock on all your body areas.