A study conducted by the American Cancer Society suggests that prolonged sitting may increase cancer risk in women. Women who spend their leisure time sitting have ten percent increased changes of developing different types of cancer such as ovarian and breast cancer. The study was published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers, and Prevention.
The researchers analyzed data about over 146.000 subjects: 69.260 men and 77.462 women. None of the participants suffered from cancer and they enrolled in the Cancer Prevention Study II Nutrition Cohort which was led by Alpa Patel from the American Cancer Society. 12.236 women and 18.555 men among the participants were diagnosed with some type of cancer between 1992 and 2009.
The researchers also noted that the risk was still the same even after taking into account other factors. The researchers also looked at factors which usually increase chances of developing particular diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and obesity. They took into account for example physical activity and the body mass index. Moreover in the case of men there was no association between sitting and cancer development. However this did not influence the results. The study said:
“Longer leisure-time spent sitting was associated with a higher risk of total cancer risk in women, and specifically with multiple myeloma, breast and ovarian cancers, but sitting time was not associated with cancer risk in men.
The study was inspired by the observation according to which in the last three decades people have spent much more time sitting for hours on end. This can be explained by the fact that most modern people work in an office. Another factor which contributes to this is the fact that since technology has made so much progress leisure activities are more and more related to TVs, computers and game consoles. Besides these factors daily transportation also plays an important part since people in big cities can spend even a few hours inside public transportation. Past studies indicate that prolonged sitting is also linked with a reduced lifespan and heart disease.
The researchers noted that further examination is needed in order to understand why there is a difference between men and women and also to verify whether the results are still the same in the case of larger crop of people.
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