Just 5 minutes of physical activity a day could lower your cancer risk

According to research, engaging in just 4.5 minutes of physical activity each day can reduce your risk of developing cancer.

  • In a recent study, the impact of vigorous intermittent lifestyle physical activity (VILPA) on the risk of developing cancer was examined.
  • Using information from wrist-worn accelerometers, researchers followed 22,398 non-exercisers’ health records for cancer for nearly 7 years while also tracking their daily intense activity.
  • 4.5 minutes of VILPA per day, broken up into 1-minute bursts of activity, was linked to a 32% lower cancer risk compared to no VIPLA.
  • There are many opportunities to engage in strenuous physical activity in daily life, such as power walking, lugging groceries, and climbing stairs.
  • A crucial component of overall health and wellbeing is physical activity.

According to research, regular exercise can reduce the risk of developing chronic illnesses like cardiovascular disease.Diabetes Trusted Source Trusted Source and cancerReliable Source.

In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) reports that those who are not sufficiently active have a 20–30% higher chance of passing away than those who are.

Even though the benefits of physical activity are obvious, only around 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men globally follow the guidelines for 75 minutes of strenuous exercise or at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week.

Good news has arrived from a recent study for those who dislike or are unable to engage in structured, intense exercise.

Just 4.5 minutes per day of vigorous-intensity physical exercise undertaken in 1-minute bursts was related with an up to 32% decreased risk of cancer, according to wrist-worn accelerometer data taken from 22,398 non-exercising people collected from the UK Biobank.

The study, which was published in JAMA OncologyTrusted Source, was directed by Dr. Emmanuel Stamatakis, professor of physical activity, lifestyle, & population health at the University of Sydney in Australia.

Dr. Stamatakis stated in a press release that VILPA [Vigorous Intermittent Lifestyle Physical Activity] may be an intriguing cost-free recommendation for lowering cancer risk for individuals who find structured exercise difficult or unappealing. However, we still need to further investigate this connection through rigorous trials.

Describe VILPA.

Short bursts of physical activity that are a regular component of our lifestyle (daily living) are referred to as vigorous intermittent lifestyle physical activity (VILPA) by Dr. Stamatakis and his colleagues.

VILPA examples include, but are not restricted to:

Walking uphill, ascending stairs, speed walking for a short distance (like 100–200 meters), often known as power walking, vigorous housework, carrying children or shopping for 50–100 meters.
VILPA differs from conventional intense physical activity in that it is intermittent and transient, lasting up to two minutes at a time, as opposed to continuous and planned.

examining VILPA’s impact on cancer risk

The study was a prospective cohort study of adults, aged 40 to 69, who provided the UK Biobank with their data.

The research team led by Dr. Stamatakis only included participants from the accelerometer-wearing group who reported not exercising in their free time and taking one or fewer leisurely walks per week in their analysis of the association between VILPA and cancer incidence.

The study removed participants who provided incomplete information, had a history of cancer, or improperly wore the activity monitor.

22,398 participants made up the study population, and their average age was 62. 54.8% of these were female, and 96% of them were white.

The researchers found 2,356 new cancer occurrences throughout a mean follow-up period of 6.7 years, including cancer registration, hospitalization for cancer, or death from any malignancy.

The researchers utilized a machine-learning method known as “random forest” to categorize accelerometer-recorded physical activity depending on intensity — vigorous, moderate, and light.

Cancer risk is reduced by daily VILPA of just a few minutes.
The majority of VILPA incidents took place in spurts of up to one or two minutes. People participated in VILPA for a maximum of 16 minutes, or about 4.5 minutes per day on average.

According to statistical assessments, the association between VILPA and cancer risk is almost linear, meaning that a person’s risk of developing cancer decreases as they engage in more VILPA.

People who engaged in VILPA for an average of 4.5 minutes per day, in short bursts of up to 1 or 2 minutes, had a 20% lower chance of developing cancer than those who did not engage in any VILPA (6.2% of study participants).

prior investigationAccording to research from a reliable source, insufficient physical exercise is linked to some cancers. These consist of:

  • liver, kidneys, and gastric cardioa (a form of stomach cancer).
  • myeloid endometrial leukemia
  • colorectal head and neck bladder breast cancer myeloma
  • esophageal adenocarcinoma (esophageal cancer)
  • This study demonstrates that those who engaged in 4.5 minutes of VILPA daily have a 31% lower risk of developing certain physical activity-related malignancies.

The least amount of VILPA necessary to significantly lower the chance of developing cancer was also determined by the researchers. They discovered that 3.4 minutes of VILPA per day can reduce the risk of cancer overall by 17% and 3.6 minutes of VILPA per day can reduce the risk of cancer linked to physical activity by 18%.

More study is required to determine how VILPA affects cancer.

Medical News Today solicited opinions on the study from professionals who were not involved in it.

A relatively small quantity of strenuous lifestyle activity can have such a large link with decreased cancer risk, according to the “high-quality study,” according to Dr. David Raichlen, professor of biological sciences & anthropology at the University of Southern California.

According to him, “the authors used a novel machine learning-based approach to identify behaviors and this study moves the field forward, allowing us to better understand the benefits of this form of exercising on [the] risk of developing cancer.”

Because of the study’s methodology, Dr. Raichlen advised that causality could not be established; however, “this work certainly indicates that future intervention studies using VILPA are warranted.”

Based on Prof. Markus Gruber, chair of Training & Movement Science and director of the University Konstanz’s Human Performance Research Center, the study supports the long-held belief in exercise science that “intensity matters.”

Prof. Gruber made the same observation as Dr. Raichlen, namely that although the study’s data, methods, and analysis are sound, the study is cross-sectional and can only report relationships between VILPA and cancer incidence.

When challenged about the connection between VILPA and cancer incidence, Prof. Gruber responded that there are a number of plausible “explanations for the results that need to be tested.”

He claims that VILPA may either directly lower the risk of cancer, boost physical fitness, or show superior physical fitness, which is linked to a lower risk of cancer. Additionally, VILPA may reduce the effects of aging-related fitness decreases and reduce cancer risk by doing so.

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