Colon cancer is the third most common cancer among men and women today in the United States.
Consistent exercise (such as daily walking with a TrekDesk) has been proven to lower the risk of contracting colon cancer and the risk of death for those with the disease according to new research at the Siteman Cancer Center at Washington University School of Medicine and Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis.
Their study analyzed activity levels of 150,000 men and women during the years between 1982 and 1997 comparing them to the number of colon cancer diagnoses between the years of 1998 and 2005.
"People who were consistently active over the course of their adulthood had a lower risk of death from colon cancer than those who were sedentary," says first author Kathleen Y. Wolin, ScD. "People often wonder around the start of a new year whether exercise really will help them stay healthy or whether it's already too late. It's never too late to start exercising, but it's also never too early to start being active. That's the message we hope people will take away from this study."
The lowest risk of colon cancer death existed in those who exercised consistently for at least 10 years.
Dr. Wolin emphasized that it is not necessary to run marathons or work out for hours each and every day. The key, researchers are finding, is to remain in motion during the day. Even a simple 30 minute walk has tremendous benefits for the body's defenses against cancer. Movement is critical to health, the more we stay in motion the healthier our bodies become.
Walking appears to have some important benefits to combating this disease. First it helps control our weight and by controlling some of the hormones associated with cell and tumor growth.
Walking also speeds the passage of digested food through our colon. This added speed theoretically reduces the time that carcinogenic particles from our food can be in contact with our intestinal linings and therefore reduces our risk of colon cancers.
This theory was tested among 80,000 men and women in Scandinavia. The research indicated that consistent moderate exercise such as walking reduced women's risk of colon cancer by 40%. Only men over the age of 45 seemed to have similar benefits from the physical activity however.
A study in Taiwan found that men who in engaged in moderate exercise such as walking and stayed sufficiently hydrated were 83% less likely to contract colon cancer.
Treadmill desks can keep everyone active during the entire day and should be considered for their ability to prevent disease and promote weight loss.