Sedentary behavior increases the risk of certain cancers

June 16, 2014

Physical inactivity has been linked with diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease, but it can also increase the risk of certain cancers, according to a study published June 16 in the JNCI: Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

To assess the relationship between TV viewing time, recreational sitting time, occupational sitting time, and total sitting time with the risk of various cancers, Daniela Schmid, Ph.D., M.Sc., and Michael F. Leitzmann, M.D., Dr.P.H., of the Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, University of Regensburg, Germany, conducted a meta-analysis of 43 observational studies, including over 4 million individuals and 68,936 cancer cases. Data in the individual studies had been obtained with self-administered questionnaires and through interviews.

When the highest levels of were compared to the lowest, the researchers found a statistically significantly higher risk for three types of cancer—colon, endometrial, and lung. Moreover, the risk increased with each 2-hour increase in sitting time, 8% for colon cancer, 10% for endometrial cancer, and 6% for lung cancer, although the last was borderline statistically significant. The effect also seemed to be independent of physical activity, suggesting that large amounts of time spent sitting can still be detrimental to those who are otherwise physically active. TV viewing time showed the strongest relationship with colon and , possibly, the authors write, because TV watching is often associated with drinking sweetened beverages, and eating junk foods.

The researchers write "That sedentariness has a detrimental impact on cancer even among physically active persons implies that limiting the time spent sedentary may play an important role in preventing cancer…."

In an accompanying editorial, Lin Yang and Graham A. Colditz, M.D., Dr.P.H., of the Siteman Cancer Center and Department of Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis MO, write that these results "…support a causal relation between sedentary behavior and both colon and endometrial cancers." They comment that cancer prevention requires good evidence, political will, and a social strategy to fund and implement prevention programs.

Explore further: Too much sitting tied to higher risk of colon polyps in men

Related Stories

Too much sitting tied to higher risk of colon polyps in men

October 28, 2013
(HealthDay)—Men who are more sedentary face a higher risk of recurring colon polyps, according to a new study, even if these men break up their downtime with bouts of recreational activities such as walking, jogging or ...

Epidemiologist touts benefits of exercise, diet (including coffee) for preventing endometrial cancer

September 19, 2013
A new report by the American Institute for Cancer Research and World Cancer Research Fund International estimates that nearly 60 percent, or 29,500 cases, of endometrial cancer annually could be prevented if women maintained ...

Herbal tea offsets colon cancer risk

May 12, 2014
People who drink herbal tea, even as little as once a week, may have a reduced risk of distal colon cancer, according to local collaborative research.

Coffee may protect against endometrial cancer

November 22, 2011
Long-term coffee consumption may be associated with a reduced risk for endometrial cancer, according to a recent study in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Diabetes increases the risk of developing and dying from breast and colon cancer

September 27, 2013
Diabetes is linked to an increased risk of developing cancer, and now researchers have performed a unique meta-analysis that excludes all other causes of death and found that diabetic patients not only have an increased risk ...

Recommended for you

Anti-cancer chemotherapeutic agent inhibits glioblastoma growth and radiation resistance

July 24, 2017
Glioblastoma is a primary brain tumor with dismal survival rates, even after treatment with surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. A small subpopulation of tumor cells—glioma stem cells—is responsible for glioblastoma's ...

New therapeutic approach for difficult-to-treat subtype of ovarian cancer identified

July 24, 2017
A potential new therapeutic strategy for a difficult-to-treat form of ovarian cancer has been discovered by Wistar scientists. The findings were published online in Nature Cell Biology.

Immune cells the missing ingredient in new bladder cancer treatment

July 24, 2017
New research offers a possible explanation for why a new type of cancer treatment hasn't been working as expected against bladder cancer.

Shooting the achilles heel of nervous system cancers

July 20, 2017
Virtually all cancer treatments used today also damage normal cells, causing the toxic side effects associated with cancer treatment. A cooperative research team led by researchers at Dartmouth's Norris Cotton Cancer Center ...

Molecular changes with age in normal breast tissue are linked to cancer-related changes

July 20, 2017
Several known factors are associated with a higher risk of breast cancer including increasing age, being overweight after menopause, alcohol intake, and family history. However, the underlying biologic mechanisms through ...

Immune-cell numbers predict response to combination immunotherapy in melanoma

July 20, 2017
Whether a melanoma patient will better respond to a single immunotherapy drug or two in combination depends on the abundance of certain white blood cells within their tumors, according to a new study conducted by UC San Francisco ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.