Exercise Reduces Colon Cancer Risk
The Fitness Fixer
The Fitness Fixer

Exercise Reduces Colon Cancer Risk

I Miss My Mom. 

The British Journal of Cancer published a study finding that, "Exercise, including manual labor, cuts colon cancer (the most common kind of bowel cancer) by a quarter."(1)

Another study by the Division of Population Science at the Fox Chase Cancer Center found that, "People who get lots of exercise have a 30 percent to 40 percent lower risk of developing colon cancer" and that "A sedentary lifestyle accounts for as many as 14 percent of all colon cancer cases in the United States." (2)

They stressed in their findings that of 1,932 adults who answered questions about colon cancer risk, 85% did not list physical activity as a method of reducing their risk of colon cancer, and that "not all doctors are informing patients of this simple preventive approach."

According to Dr. Edward Giovannucci, professor at the Harvard School of Public Health, "Sedentary people can greatly benefit from starting a modest exercise program, such as gardening or walking two to three hours a week. Sedentary people should first set such moderate, achievable goals. More benefits could accrue from higher levels and more intense exercise, such as jogging, running or tennis. To some extent, more may be better, but it is important to note that a little is much better than nothing."

1 KY Wolin et al. Physical activity and colon cancer prevention: a meta-analysis.
British Journal of Cancer. Volume 100 Issue 4
2 Coups EJ, Hay J, Ford JS. Awareness of the role of physical activity in colon cancer prevention. Patient Educ Couns 71(2), 2008.

Key Encouraging Points:

  1. Exercise has definite, positive effect to reduce colon cancer risk
  2. Exercise reduces risk, even if you have a family history, or risk factors for the disease.
  3. Colon cancer is considered a largely preventable disease.

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About the Author


Dr. Bookspan is an award-winning scientist whose goal is to make exercise easier and healthier.