New! Sign up for our free email newsletter.
Science News
from research organizations

Data continues to show that Americans need at least 5 hours per week of physical activity to prevent some cancers

Date:
October 14, 2021
Source:
American Cancer Society
Summary:
A new report finds more than 46,000 cancer cases annually in the United States could be prevented if Americans met the 5 hours per week of moderate-intensity recommended physical activity guidelines.
Share:
FULL STORY

A new report finds more than 46,000 cancer cases annually in the United States could be prevented if Americans met the 5 hours per week of moderate-intensity recommended physical activity guidelines. The latest data appearing in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise show 3% of all cancer cases in adults in the U.S. aged 30 years and older during 2013 to 2016 were attributable to physical inactivity and the proportion was higher in women (average annual attributable cases 32,089) compared to men (14,277).

For both men and women, states with the highest proportion of cancers attributable to physical inactivity were in the South, such as Kentucky, West Virginia, Louisiana, Tennessee, and Mississippi, whereas the lowest proportions were found in the Mountain region and northern states, such as Utah, Montana, Wyoming, Washington, and Wisconsin.

Led by Adair Minihan, MPH at the American Cancer Society, this is the first study to estimate the number of cancer cases attributable to physical inactivity based on cancer sites (breast, endometrial, colon, stomach, kidney, esophageal adenocarcinoma, and urinary bladder) by state. Data show when focusing on specific cancer sites, 16.9% of stomach cancers, 11.9% of endometrial cancers, 11.0% of kidney cancers, 9.3% of colon cancers, 8.1% of esophageal cancers, 6.5% of female breast cancers, and 3.9% of urinary bladder cancers were associated with lack of exercise. By state, the proportion of cancer cases attributable to physical inactivity ranged from 2.3% in Utah to 3.7% in Kentucky.

While this data shows the importance of physical activity, there are many barriers to recreational physical activity, which include, but are not limited to, lack of time due to long working hours in low-wage jobs, the cost of gym memberships or personal equipment, lack of access to a safe environment in which to be active, and potential childcare costs involved with recreational physical activity. Unfortunately, these barriers are more likely to affect historically marginalized populations, including the Black population and individuals with a limited income, underscoring the importance of enhancing health equity.

"These findings underscore the need to encourage physical activity as a means of cancer prevention and implement individual- and community-level interventions that address the various behavioral and socioeconomic barriers to recreational physical activity," write the authors. "Understanding and reducing the behavioral and socioeconomic barriers to physical activity is essential for optimizing intervention strategies targeting at risk groups across the country."


Story Source:

Materials provided by American Cancer Society. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Adair K. Minihan, Alpa V. Patel, W. Dana Flanders, Ann Goding Sauer, Ahmedin Jemal, Farhad Islami. Proportion of Cancer Cases Attributable to Physical Inactivity by US State, 2013-2016. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 2021; Publish Ahead of Print DOI: 10.1249/MSS.0000000000002801

Cite This Page:

American Cancer Society. "Data continues to show that Americans need at least 5 hours per week of physical activity to prevent some cancers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 October 2021. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/10/211014102027.htm>.
American Cancer Society. (2021, October 14). Data continues to show that Americans need at least 5 hours per week of physical activity to prevent some cancers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 21, 2024 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/10/211014102027.htm
American Cancer Society. "Data continues to show that Americans need at least 5 hours per week of physical activity to prevent some cancers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/10/211014102027.htm (accessed February 21, 2024).

Explore More
from ScienceDaily

RELATED STORIES