Fitness freaks, here is another reason to hit the gym! Higher levels of physical activity may lower the risk of 13 types of cancer, a new study has claimed. Physical inactivity is common, with an estimated 31% of people worldwide not meeting recommended physical activity levels, researchers said.

Any decrease in cancer risk associated with physical activity could be relevant to public health and cancer prevention efforts, they said. Steven C Moore from National Cancer Institute in the US and colleagues pooled data from 12 US and European cohorts with self-reported physical activity (1987-2004).

They analysed associations of physical activity with the incidence of 26 kinds of cancer. The study included 1.4 million participants and 186,932 cancers were identified during a median of 11 years of follow-up.

The study noticed that higher level of physical activity was associated 42% lower risk of esophegal adenocarcinoma, 27% lower risk of liver cancer and 26% lower risk of lung cancer.

Most of the associations remained regardless of body size or smoking history, the study found. Overall, a higher level of physical activity was associated with a 7% lower risk of total cancer, researchers said.

“These findings support promoting physical activity as a key component of population-wide cancer prevention and control efforts,” researchers said. The findings were published in the journal JAMA.



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