11 Unexpected Things that Cause Cancer

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11. A sedentary lifestyle

A 2014 analysis by the University of Regensburg, Germany, published in the Journal of National Cancer Institute, assessed the correlation between TV viewing time, recreational sitting time, occupational sitting time and total sitting time as it relates to cancer risk. When comparing the highest levels of sedentary behavior to the lowest, researchers found the more sedentary participants faced a higher risk of colon, endometrial and lung cancer. The cancer risk elevated with each 2-hour increase in sitting time. This seemed to be regardless of physical activity, implying large amounts of time spent sitting can still be detrimental even if otherwise physically active.

According to the American Cancer Society, the latest recommendation for adults is at least 150 minutes of moderate activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity per week. This does not include daily activities such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator or housework. For kids, the recommendation is at least 60 minutes of moderate or vigorous activity each day, with vigorous activity at least 3 days per week.

How to avoid it: While sitting for hours on end can sometimes feel inevitable for office workers, to avoid falling into the trap of a sedentary lifestyle, try a standing desk or replace your conventional office chair for an exercise ball. Throughout the day, set alarms to remind yourself to stand up and stretch every once in a while. If you can, start hosting walking meetings or take your calls while strolling around the building.

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