Add greater risk of kidney and bladder cancer to the long list of why a lifetime of sitting on the sofa isn’t good for your health, a new study suggests.
Specifically, lifetime recreational inactivity was associated with a 73 percent increased risk of bladder cancer and a 77 percent increased risk of kidney cancer.
The findings add to growing evidence that inactivity may be a significant risk factor for cancer, the researchers said.
“We hope that findings like ours will motivate inactive people to engage in some form of physical activity,” said study senior author Kirsten Moysich. She is a professor of oncology at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, N.Y.
“You don’t have to run marathons to reduce your cancer risk, but you have to do something — even small adjustments like taking the stairs instead of the elevator, walking around the block a couple of times on your lunch hour or parking the car far away from the store when you go to the supermarket,” she said in an institute news release.
The study included 160 kidney cancer patients, 208 bladder cancer patients and 766 people without cancer. Cancer risks were similar whether people were obese or not, the researchers said.
The study was only designed to show an association between a sedentary lifestyle and the risk of these cancers; it cannot prove a cause-and-effect relationship.
“Our findings underscore how important it is to maintain a healthy lifestyle, including getting and staying active,” study first author Rikki Cannioto, an assistant professor of oncology at Roswell Park, said.
“The Department of Health and Human Services recommends 150 minutes each week of moderate physical activity or 75 minutes each week of vigorous physical activity as a way to generate significant, lasting health benefits,” Cannioto said.
The study was published recently in the journal Cancer Epidemiology.
The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute offers a physical activity.