When you include the American Institute for Cancer Research in your estate plans, you make a major difference in the fight against cancer.

Corporate Champions who partner with the American Institute for Cancer Research stand at the forefront of the fight against cancer

The Continuous Update Project (CUP) is an ongoing program that analyzes global research on how diet, nutrition and physical activity affect cancer risk and survival.

A major milestone in cancer research, the Third Expert Report analyzes and synthesizes the evidence gathered in CUP reports and serves as a vital resource for anyone interested in preventing cancer.

Whether you are a healthcare provider, a researcher, or just someone who wants to learn more about cancer prevention, we’re here to help.

AICR has pushed research to new heights, and has helped thousands of communities better understand the intersection of lifestyle, nutrition, and cancer.

Read real-life accounts of how AICR is changing lives through cancer prevention and survivorship.

We bring a detailed policy framework to our advocacy efforts, and provide lawmakers with the scientific evidence they need to achieve our objectives.

AICR champions research that increases understanding of the relationship between nutrition, lifestyle, and cancer.

AICR’s resources can help you navigate questions about nutrition and lifestyle, and empower you to advocate for your health.

AICR is committed to putting what we know about cancer prevention into action. To help you live healthier, we’ve taken the latest research and made 10 Cancer Prevention Recommendations.

July 5, 2018 | 3 minute read

Reduce Cancer Risk by Being Physically Active, Say Experts

The recently released Third Expert Report – Diet, Nutrition, Physical Activity and Cancer: A Global Perspective, concludes that daily physical activity provides a powerful protection against cancer. The report recommends individuals to achieve at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic physical activity per week and for more protection to aim for 45 to 60 minutes per day. Another important part of the recommendation is “walk more and sit less.”

Getting regular physical activity is one of the ten recommendations in the report that altogether work as a lifestyle package for cancer prevention. Over the next several weeks we will break down the physical activity guidelines in the report to help you better understand what they mean for you and how you can apply them to your lifestyle and personal circumstances.

Third Expert Report, Reduce Cancer Risk by Being Physically Active, Say Experts

What were the findings?

After a systematic literature review and meta-analysis, the Expert Panel found strong evidence that being physically active directly reduces your risk of three cancers.

Colorectal

Breast  post-menopausal; vigorous activity for pre-menopausal)

Endometrial

In addition, being active can help you maintain a healthy weight, indirectly reducing your risk for many other types of cancer.

Does being sedentary, like watching TV and sitting a lot, increase risk for certain cancers?

The short answer is: we are not sure. There is not yet enough evidence on links between sedentary behavior and specific cancers. Evidence is limited, but suggests that being sedentary increases risk for endometrial cancer. And emerging evidence does suggest that being sedentary increases markers in the body linked to cancer risk. More research is needed in this area.

It is important to note that while the expert report does not propose a specific physical activity recommendation for every type of cancer, it notes that being physically active is an important part of cancer prevention package in general and is also good for maintaining overall health.

The more active you are, the greater the benefit.

What counts as physical activity?

Any movements you do throughout the day counts as physical activity. The report classified activity into three types:

Occupational: This refers to physical activity that occurs as part of daily responsibilities of a job. Those engaging in desk jobs participate in minimal amounts of occupational physical activity, whereas others may engage in a large amount of occupational physical activity.

Recreational: This refers to exercise, sports, and other forms of more formal training. Aerobic activities (e.g., walking, cycling, and swimming) and muscle strengthening activities (e.g., weight lifting) are also included in this category.

Total Physical Activity: This includes all movements that occur throughout a person’s day. In addition to occupational and recreational activities, total physical activity also includes transport (e.g., walking or cycling to work) and household chores (e.g., gardening, cleaning).

The report also discusses the intensity level of activity, i.e., how hard it is to perform the physical activity, with harder ones bringing more benefits. In some cases, the report specifies a level of intensity that must be achieved to reap the protective benefit.

If I have already been diagnosed with cancer and finished treatment, how do these guidelines apply to me?

Although there is not enough evidence at this time to make specific recommendations on physical activity and survivorship, survivors are encouraged to follow the prevention recommendations as they are able. This aligns with the American College of Sports Medicine Guidelines for Cancer Patients and Survivors, which include avoiding inactivity and being as physically active as possible both during and after treatment.

Ready to get started? Next post we will talk more about how to create realistic goals to help you meet these physical activity recommendations.

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