Women who exercise by doing household chores like dusting, mopping and vacuuming could reduce their risk of breast cancer, suggests a new study.
The research funded by Cancer Research UK studied over 200,000 women from nine European countries and found that doing housework was far more cancer protective than playing sport, reported the online edition of BBC News.
It was earlier known that physical exercise could reduce the risk of breast cancer probably through hormonal and metabolic changes. But it has been less clear how much and what types of exercise are necessary for this risk reduction,
Much of the past work has only examined the link between exercise and breast cancer in post-menopausal women.
The latest study looked at both pre- and post-menopausal women and a range of activities, including work, leisure and housework. It found that out of all of the activities, only housework significantly reduced the risk of both pre- and post-menopausal women getting the disease.
Doing housework cut breast cancer risk by 30 percent among the pre-menopausal women and 20 percent among the post-menopausal women, said the study published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention.
"This study suggests that being physically active may also help reduce the risk and that something as simple and cheap as doing the housework can help," said Lesley Walker of Cancer Research UK.