Exercise like gardening and walking could reduce breast cancer risk
Performing more light exercise such as gardening and walking could reduce the risk of breast cancer by up to 21%, study suggests
- Those who clocked up 5 hours and 45 minutes a day of gentle exercise benefited
- Experts say this is achievable if women walk to and from work or go for a stroll
Gardening and regular walks could lower the risk of developing breast cancer, experts say.
Light physical activity – also including housework and cooking – was linked to a 21 per cent reduced chance of getting the disease, a study found.
Women who clocked up five hours and 45 minutes a day of gentle exercise benefited from the reduced risk.
Experts say this is easily achievable, even for those with jobs, if they walk to and from work, go for a stroll in their lunch break and do activities such as chores in the evening.
A quarter of the 48,000 women studied completed this much light exercise a day.
Light physical activity – also including housework and cooking – was linked to a 21 per cent reduced chance of getting the disease, a study found
Women who clocked up five hours and 45 minutes a day of gentle exercise benefited from the reduced risk
The participants were asked to go about their lives while wearing a fitness tracker for a week.
They were then contacted after an average of five and a half years, during which time 836 were diagnosed with breast cancer.
Those who had done the most light exercise were 21 per cent less likely to have developed breast cancer compared with the women who did the least – less than four and a half hours a day.
The results, published in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health, were unusual in showing that light activity – which does not raise a sweat or make people breathless – may protect against breast cancer.
Senior author Dr Carlos Celis-Morales, from Glasgow University, said: ‘It is more evidence that every step counts, and doing things like gardening or walking to work can make a difference.’
Dr Julie Sharp, head of health and patient information at Cancer Research UK, said: ‘Being active is a great way to help us keep a healthy weight, which reduces the risk of 13 different types of cancer.
‘There’s also evidence that doing lots of exercise can prevent breast cancer directly.
‘The NHS recommends 150 minutes of activity a week – but it’s fine to build up activity over time.
‘Any exercise is better than none, and the more you do, the better.
‘It doesn’t matter if you go for a brisk walk or cycle with a friend, or even get the housework done.
‘Anything that gets you warmer, slightly out of breath, and your heart beating faster counts.’
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