How does sitting time affect the risk of colon cancer?
Lack of exercise has been associated with an increased risk of some serious illnesses in the past. Researchers have now found that if men spend more than four hours watching TV each day, this increases their likelihood of developing colon cancer.
Scientists from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), Imperial College London and the University of Oxford found in their joint study that men who spend more than four hours sitting in front of the television each day are at increased risk of colon cancer . The doctors published the results of their study in the English-language journal "British Journal of Cancer".
Doctors examined over 400,000 subjects
In their research, the experts examined the connection between sitting or lying down and an increased risk of colon cancer. The study, which analyzed data from more than 400,000 men and women, concludes that men who spend less time watching TV are less likely to develop colorectal cancer later in life. Colon cancer was diagnosed in 2,391 of the patients after six years.
Sedentary behavior greatly increases the risk of colorectal cancer
If men spent less than an hour a day watching TV, there was a 35 percent lower risk of developing colorectal cancer compared to men watching TV four hours a day. The researchers found a clear link between inactive behavior and colorectal cancer, while increased physical activity in men was associated with a reduced risk of colorectal cancer.
Television favors unhealthy behaviors
Previous studies have suggested that television may be associated with other behaviors such as smoking, drinking, and snacking. Such behaviors are known to increase the risk of colon cancer, explains study author Dr. Neil Murphy of the International Agency for Research on Cancer. Sitting a lot is also associated with weight gain and more body fat. There is evidence that greater exposure to TV ads for unhealthy eating increases the likelihood of eating more, which also increases the likelihood of being overweight and obese.
Increased risk affects only men
Excess body fat can affect the blood levels of hormones and other compounds, which in turn affect the growth of human cells and can increase the risk of colon cancer. Colon cancer is the third most common form of cancer in British men. It is interesting to see that only men who watch a lot of TV have an increased risk of colon cancer, but the same connection cannot be found in women, the researchers say. Perhaps the reasons for this could be that men watch more smoking and drinking while watching TV and also eat less healthily than women, the experts speculate.
More research is needed
More research is needed to better understand the identified impacts. But it is known that a healthy body weight, the restriction of alcohol consumption, physical activity and a diet rich in fruits and vegetables reduce the risk of colon cancer, the doctors explain. This study complements the substantial evidence that colon cancer can be prevented by a healthier, more active lifestyle. (as)