"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Short bursts of activity can reduce your cancer risk

July 28, 2023 – People who engage in 4 to five minutes of intense physical activity every day can reduce their risk of cancer by as much as 32%, in response to a brand new study published in JAMA Oncology says.

Researchers on the University of Sydney in Australia examined data from wearable fitness devices worn by greater than 22,000 individuals who didn't exercise after which reviewed their health records over a period of six or seven years.

The scientists found that folks who engaged in 4 to five minutes of “intense intermittent physical activity” (VILPA) had a “significantly” lower risk of cancer than individuals who didn't do VILPA.

Examples of VILPA include strenuous house responsibilities, carrying heavy shopping bags on the supermarket, short power walking sessions and energetic games with children. The activities might be done in 1-minute sessions slightly than unexpectedly.

The study found that not less than 3.5 minutes of VILPA every day was related to an 18 percent reduction in cancer rates compared with no VILPA. The study found that 4.5 minutes of VILPA every day was related to a 32 percent reduction in cancers related to physical activity, including lung, kidney, bladder and stomach cancer.

“We know that the majority of middle-aged people do not exercise regularly, putting them at increased risk of cancer, but it is only with the advent of wearable technologies such as activity trackers that we can study the effects of short, occasional physical activity in everyday life,” said Dr. Emmanuel Stamatakis, the study’s lead writer and professor on the Charles Perkins Centre on the University of Sydney, in a Press release.

The study participants were on average 62 years old and reported not exercising of their free time. VILPA, an idea coined by researchers on the university, was measured using wrist-mounted accelerometers that the study participants wore for seven days at the beginning of the study, the press release said.

“We are only beginning to glimpse the potential of wearable technology to track physical activity and understand how unexplored aspects of our lives affect our long-term health – the potential impact on cancer prevention and a range of other health outcomes is enormous,” Stamatakis said.