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The Science

Moving throughout the day can lower your risk for many cancers, such as colon, breast and uterine cancer.

What types of cancers are linked to physical inactivity?

There is strong evidence that regular physical activity protects against many different types of cancers, including breast, colon, stomach and endometrial (uterine) cancers. 

Cancers linked to physical inactivity

Even if you’re active but spend large amount of time sitting (sedentary) during the day, you may still be at an increased risk for developing cancer of the colon, breast, endometrium (lining of the uterus) or ovaries. Generally, the longer you sit, the higher the risk.

How does physical activity reduce cancer risk?

Regular physical activity may be linked to decreased cancer risk for a few reasons. It can help:

  • Reduce levels of inflammation in your body, which helps avoid cell damage and slow cell growth.
  • Give your immune system a boost.
  • Regulate hormones, like insulin and estrogen.
  • Move food through the digestive system more quickly. This means anything harmful in food waste spends less time in your bowel.

Keep your body nourished

Physical activity is good for you, for many reasons, but what you eat is equally important. Combined with regular activity, healthy eating provides you with energy to tackle day-to-day activities, and can help maintain overall health and manage stress. 

To learn more about the health benefits of a balanced, nutritious diet, visit our healthy eating page.

Key facts 

Healthy woman exercising at home watching online video on laptop
​Every move counts

Small changes to fit movement into your daily routine can reduce your risk of cancer and other health problems. 

Reduce Your Risk

SOURCE: The Science ( )
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