1 November 2011
Research into the way exercise reduces bowel (colorectal) cancer risk has underscored the need for "vigorous" activity.
A University of Western Australia study of 870 people with bowel cancer aged 40–79 years compared their activity levels with those of a group of similar people without bowel cancer (Cancer Causes and Control 2011; online 16 Sep).
Men and women consistently performing 6 or more hours per week of vigorous physical activity during their adult lifetime reduced their risk of cancer of the lower part of the colon by 41 per cent, and men also reduced their risk of cancer of the rectum (back passage) by 50 per cent, the study found.
The same amount of energy spent performing moderate physical activity had no effect on bowel cancer risk.
Walking or bike riding less than 16 km/h was considered "moderate", while jogging and jumping rope were classed as "vigorous" activities.
Last Reviewed: 04 November 2011