Exercise is one of the most powerful weapons for fighting disease. But a new study finds that simply sitting for too long may raise your risk of developing cancer. To make matters worse, exercise alone may not be enough to negate the effects.
Researchers in Germany looked at 43 different studies of nearly 70,000 cancer cases. They found that people who watched the most TV raised their colon cancer risk by over 50%. They also increased odds of developing uterine cancer by as much as 66%.1 And that may not even be the worst of it.
For every two hours you spend sitting down, your risk of developing cancer may rise by around 10%.
People who were the most sedentary overall were at 24% greater risk for colon cancer.2 This includes time spent at home and at work. So if you sit all day at work, you might not want to be a couch potato when you get home… That’s because nothing put subjects in this study more at risk than time spent watching TV.
And there may be a few reasons why. Watching more TV doesn’t just mean more time sitting around. It could also make you more likely to eat and drink things you shouldn’t. Things like soda and microwave popcorn. It makes sense: higher blood sugar, inflammation, and insulin levels can lead to colon cancer.
Obesity is one of the biggest risk factors for uterine cancer.3 TV marathons and junk food consumption can contribute to all of those. They can also steal your motivation to get up and get active. And while that certainly can’t help matters, the fact remains that exercise may be enough to lower your risk.
This study found that the connection between sitting and cancer existed independent of physical activity. Even people who exercised on a regular basis were at risk. It means there may something fundamentally dangerous about sitting down for too long.
Sitting for long periods of time may cause inflammation to spike. It can also cause genes that regulate glucose and fat in the body to slow or even shut down.4 Previous studies have shown that increased time spent sedentarily watching TV can increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease. It could even lead to an early death.5 But the solution may be simple.
Getting up and moving is the best way to avoid being sedentary. And we don’t mean just exercising a few times a week.
Try standing up and walking around during commercial breaks if you’re watching TV. Walk over and talk to a colleague instead of sending an e-mail. Eat your afternoon snack standing up. Park your car further away from stores or restaurants to encourage a little extra movement. Taking a brief walk after dinner is another good way to get your blood pumping.
The more active you stay, the harder it will be to become sedentary. But being more active each day isn’t the only way to help avoid these cancers…
During our research, we came across several success stories from one natural treatment.
For example, Carol R., a retired schoolteacher. Carol’s cancer diagnosis came in 2009. Mainstream treatments scared her. So she went to a specialized health facility in Wichita, Kansas for this therapy.
Now she says, “Not only is the cancer gone from the inside, everything has improved…head to toe…skin, nails, hair, teeth, eyes…everything. I feel stronger than I did 20 years ago—which is amazing because I thought I was healthy then!”