Too much sitting raises risk for cancer

(Medical Xpress) -- If you spend most of your day sitting in front of the television or the computer, you may want to change your habits. A new study presented last week at the American Institute for Cancer Research Annual Research Conference on Food, Nutrition, and Physical Activity and published in the journal Cancer Prevention Research shows a connection between the hours you spend sitting and the increased risk in cancer.

The connection between exercise and the reduced risk of cancers such as breast and colon have been previously established but this new study shows that the opposite is also true. The more sedentary your lifestyle is, the more risk you may be for developing cancer.

This research, led by Christine Friedenreich from the Alberta Health Services-Cancer Care in Calgary, Canada, shows a connection between exercise and the reduction of markers such as C-reactive protein. Evidence is beginning to show that this inflammation may play a role in the development of certain cancers.

It is estimated that a person sits an average 15.5 hours per day between work or school, meals, travel and sitting in front of the television. Sitting for prolonged periods can increase inflammation in your body and researchers believe this can also increase your risk for developing cancer.

Friedenreich suggests that people who are required to sit for long periods of time at work or school take a break from sitting on a regular basis. She will be making a presentation of her findings at the American Institute for Cancer Research annual conference and plans to share some tips.

These tips include taking a short walk every hour, even if it is just down a hallway. Others include standing up and walking and talking with coworkers instead of using emails, using small hand weights when you sit on the phone or read emails for a prolonged time period, stand up and talk on the phone instead of and place a punching bag or shin-up bar in your employee break room to encourage .

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