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Too Much Sitting Raises Odds for Cancer: Study
Date:11/3/2011

, including at meals, traveling to and from work or school, working on the computer and watching television. Office workers may spend 75 percent of their time sitting.

"It is clear to me it's never too late" to start exercising to reduce your risk of cancer, Friedenreich said. "Anything you can do to maintain a healthy body weight, especially later in life, will reduce the risk of colon and breast cancer."

Of course people who lead sedentary lives are also at risk for other unhealthy habits that can lead to obesity, a known risk factor for some cancers. In addition, sedentary people might not eat the most healthful foods, which also increase the risk for some cancers, experts say.

Dr. Stephanie Bernik, chief of surgical oncology at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, commented that "we know that exercise is a good tool to maintain normal body weight."

But, it isn't known whether reducing inflammation markers in the body really reduces the risk for cancer, she said.

"The things that are good for you in general appear to be good for you in terms of reducing your risk for some cancer," Bernik said.

Sit Less, Move More at Work

The AICR presentation includes tips for getting active at work:

  • Take a short walk, even down the hall, every hour -- set the timer on your computer to remind you.
  • Take a walk with coworkers to discuses issues,; don't just use email.
  • Use light weights while you're on the phone or reading emails.
  • Stand up while you talk on the phone and walk around.
  • Use an office wall for stretching, doing vertical pushups or leg lifts.
  • Put up a punching bag or chin-up bar in the break room.

More information

For more information on exercise and cancer, visit the

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