• People who exercise have been found to reduce their risk of developing 13 types of cancer. (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
A new study has found exercise may protect people from 13 different types of cancer. How’s that for motivation?!
By
Jody Phan

20 May 2016 - 12:55 PM  UPDATED 20 May 2016 - 12:55 PM

People who exercise regularly have have a lower risk of developing 13 types of cancer. This is what researchers have found by analysing 1.44 million men and women, pooling data from 12 U.S. and European studies over a period of 11 years.

Participants, whose median age was 59 and were cancer-free when studies began, were asked whether they did moderate or vigorous exercise during their spare time. More than 187,000 cases of cancer were diagnosed in participants during the study period.

Of the 26 types of cancer analysed, scientists made the connection between exercise and reducing the risk of 13 types. For example, those who were most active reduced their risk of liver cancer by 27 per cent, and were less likely to develop lung and kidney cancer by 26 and 23 per cent.

Though scientists have previously been able to link the benefits of exercise to a lower risk of breast, colon and lung cancer, this is the first time data has been collected on the other types of cancer.

Additionally, their risk of colon cancer was lowered by 16 per cent, while their risk of breast and bladder cancer were reduced by 10 and 13 per cent.

The study also found a lowered risk of tumours in the esophagus, stomach, endometrium, blood, bone marrow, head and neck and rectum.

Though scientists have previously been able to link the benefits of exercise to a lower risk of breast, colon and lung cancer, this is the first time data has been collected on the other types of cancer.

Interestingly, the research found an increased risk of two types of cancer in participants who exercised the most - melanoma and slow-growing prostate tumours.

Interestingly, the research found an increased risk of two types of cancer in participants who exercised the most - melanoma and slow-growing prostate tumours. Scientists say this finding could be due to certain characteristics of those more active.

“People who exercise generally go in for more checkups” than sedentary people and this may result in more screenings for prostate cancer, according to Steven Moore at the National Cancer Institute who led the study. He added that those who exercised a lot also tend to be more outdoors people, hence increasing their chances of sunburn.

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