Beating cancer is a great feat, but how survivors live their lives afterward also influences their longevity.
A new study shows that people who spend a lot of time sitting and are not physically active are much more likely to die prematurely from cancer or from any other cause than those that are more active.
The slow killer
For the study, data was collected from more than 1,500 cancer survivors. During up to nine years of follow-up, nearly 300 patients died. Cancer survivors rarely get the message that they need to be physically active. Part of the reason may be that patients are not motivated or do not feel well, but also because they are not encouraged to be active.
The link was particularly concerning because the researchers found that up to a third of cancer survivors did not exercise and sat for more than six hours a day. Only about a third got the recommended 150 hours of exercise a week.
There is a need for future research on the causal relationships between sedentary behavior, physical activity, and survival after cancer, as well as the biological mechanisms that operate these relationships.