According to a study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, more than 46,300 cancer cases could have been prevented for those ages 30 and older with exercise in the United States. The research defines exercise as at least 5 hours of moderate-intensity physical activity a week. The study looks at data between 2013 to 2016. Of the preventable cases, women made up around 69%.
Looking at specific cancer sites, the study lists the types of cancers associated with inactivity:
- stomach: 16.9%
- endometrial: 11.9%
- kidney: 11.0%
- colon: 9.3%
- esophageal: 8.1%
- female breast: 6.5%
- urinary bladder: 3.9%
The study also looked at states with the highest and lowest preventable cancers as a result of inactivity. The south dominated the highest cases; Kentucky, West Virginia, Louisiana, Tennessee, and Mississippi. On the other hand, mountain regions and northern states made up the lowest: Utah, Montana, Wyoming, Washington, and Wisconsin.
Our culture tends to focus on the optics, whether its toned abs or sculpted arms, when it comes to results of exercise. But physical activity benefits us from within, from mental to cellular health. It’s easy to get frustrated from workouts when we’re not seeing desired physical results. The study reminds us that we can’t always see the benefits of exercise through a mirror.
And if it’s time that’s preventing us from working out, think again. Studies also show that we have more free time than we think. It’s a matter of choosing what we want to do with our free time that might be blocking us from workout out.