Research published this month in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Oncology, looked at the relationship between the life expectancy of cancer survivors, their level of physical activity after diagnosis and the number of hours they spend sitting each day.
Researchers found that cancer survivors who sat for less than four hours a day and exercised for 150 minutes or more each week were 5.5 times less likely to die within the time frame of the study than cancer survivors who sat for 8 or more hours a day and were physically active for less than 150 minutes a week.
Earlier research, that did not target cancer survivors, found that sedentary behavior and physical inactivity are associated with diabetes, cancer, heart disease, inflammation and an early death. Earlier research also indicated that physical activity could help make up for some of the health problems caused by prolonged sitting.
This most recent study was especially important because it focused specifically on cancer survivors. The results suggest that adequate physical activity and limited time spent sitting may be useful strategies for cancer survivors who wish to extend their lifespan. More research is needed to determine whether or not this is the case but this latest study points researchers in a hopeful direction.