New research reveals 5 minutes of intense physical activity reduces cancer risk

A recent study has brought promising news for cancer prevention. According to the research published in the journal JAMA Oncology, engaging in just 4-5 minutes of vigorous physical activity daily can significantly reduce cancer risks by up to 32%.

The study involved more than 22,000 individuals who were not regular exercisers and used wearable devices to track their activity levels.

The researchers, based at Australia’s University of Sydney, closely monitored the participants’ health records over several years to assess cancer risks.

They found that incorporating short bursts of intense physical activity, known as Vigorous Intermittent Lifestyle Physical Activity (VIPLA), led to a noteworthy decrease in cancer risk compared to those who did not follow this activity pattern.

Examples of VIPLA include vigorous housework and playing.

Among the 22,398 non-exercisers with an average age of 62, the researchers recorded 2,356 new cancer cases during the study period.

This highlights the importance of physical activity in reducing the risks of various cancer types, aligning with the World Health Organization’s recommendation of at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity per week.

Emmanuel Stamatakis, the lead author of the study, emphasized the significance of this finding, especially for adults who do not engage in regular exercise and may be at increased cancer risk.

He mentioned that wearable technology, such as activity trackers, has enabled researchers to study the impact of short bursts of physical activity integrated into daily life.

While the study is observational and doesn’t establish direct cause and effect, the researchers observed a strong link between VIPLA and reduced cancer risks.

Previous early-stage trials have shown that vigorous activity leads to rapid improvements in health and cardio-respiratory fitness, supporting the potential benefits of incorporating such activities into daily routines.

Despite the promising results, the researchers call for further investigation through robust trials.

However, the findings suggest that VIPLA could serve as a cost-free and viable recommendation for lowering cancer risks, especially for individuals who find structured exercise challenging or unappealing.

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