Exercise can lower the risk of colon cancer, a new study says.
To reach the conclusion, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and Harvard University combined and analyzed several decades worth of data from past studies on how exercise affects colon cancer risk.
They found that people who exercised the most were 24 percent less likely to develop the disease than those who exercised the least.
"What's really compelling is that we see the association between exercise and lower colon cancer risk regardless of how physical activity was measured in the studies," says lead study author Kathleen Y. Wolin, Sc.D., a cancer prevention and control expert with the Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University.
"That indicates that this is a robust association and gives all the more evidence that physical activity is truly protective against colon cancer," the expert added.
The study has been published in the British Journal of Cancer.
In the study, researchers analyzed 52 studies going back as far as 1984, making their analysis the most comprehensive to date.
After scrutinizing, scientists found the protective effect of exercise held for all types of physical activity, whether that activity was recreational, such as jogging, biking or swimming, or job related, such as walking, lifting or digging.