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New study reveals that just 4-5 minutes of vigorous exercise can reduce the risks of cancers by up to 32%

A recent study has uncovered that engaging in just 4-5 minutes of intense exercise daily, sufficient to leave individuals breathless and panting, can significantly decrease the risk of cancer by up to 32 percent. The findings of this research were published in the journal JAMA Oncology and were drawn from data collected by wearable devices that tracked the physical activity of over 22,000 individuals who were previously categorized as non-exercisers.

Researchers from the University of Sydney in Australia meticulously monitored the health records of this non-exercising group over several years to assess their susceptibility to cancer. The study revealed that incorporating short bursts of vigorous intermittent lifestyle physical activity (VIPLA) into daily routines was associated with a substantial reduction in cancer risk compared to those who did not partake in VIPLA. This type of exercise encompasses activities like strenuous housework or engaging in physically demanding games.

The research was carried out on a sample of 22,398 individuals with an average age of 62 who did not engage in leisure-time exercise. Within this group, 2,356 new instances of cancer were observed.

The World Health Organization (WHO) highlights that physical activity has the potential to mitigate the risk of 13 different types of cancer. The recommended guidelines from WHO suggest either 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity per week or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity per week.

Emmanuel Stamatakis, the lead researcher of the study, emphasized that adults who lead sedentary lives are prone to developing various forms of cancer. He underlined the significance of wearable technology, such as activity trackers, in analyzing the impact of brief spurts of physical activity incorporated into daily routines.

While the study is considered observational and does not establish a direct causal relationship, the researchers found a robust correlation. They also referred to earlier trials that indicated swift improvements in health and cardiorespiratory fitness as a result of engaging in vigorous physical activity.

Stamatakis urged further investigation into this link through rigorous trials, while suggesting that VIPLA could be a cost-effective and practical recommendation to lower cancer risk, particularly for individuals who struggle with structured exercise or find it unappealing. The study underscores the potential benefits of even brief, intense physical activity in combating the risk of cancer.


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