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This Bad Habit Can Raise Your Cancer Risk by 80 Percent

It's something everyone is guilty of doing way too often, and it's more dangerous than you might've thought.
woman on computer drinking coffee

If there's something everyone can agree on, it's that there is one bad habit so many people have adopted the last few months. And that's how just how much time you spend sitting down. Living through a pandemic has led many to spend more time inside at home, but all those hours going from your bed to your couch, and back to your bed again could be increasing your cancer risk. Specifically, dying from cancer.

How does sitting uptick your risk of dying from cancer?

According to a recent study published in JAMA Oncology, researchers found that those who live an extremely sedentary life can be as much as 80 percent more likely to die of cancer than those who don't sit as much.

The study closely examined 8,002 participants, a group that was made up of multiracial, middle-aged men and women ranging in health conditions, as some were overweight, smokers, had high blood pressure, diabetes, and others were lean and exercised regularly. Of these participants, 268 died of cancer, and they were also the ones who spent the most time sitting.

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So for those who spent more hours sitting down, the likelihood that they would eventually die of cancer increased. But don't get too scared just yet, as there is a silver lining here. The researchers also uncovered that those who did some sort of exercise every 30 minutes instead of just continuing to sit lowered their risk of dying from cancer by 31 percent.

And you don't have to do an intense workout, either. Just 10 minutes of walking, cleaning, or other low-impact physical activity instead of sitting for those few minutes lowered the risk of dying from cancer by about 8 percent.

The big takeaway of this study?

Make sure you're finding the time to get up and move! If you notice you're sitting down too much—whether it's because you're working from your computer all day, and then decide to watch Netflix on your couch—you'll want to find time to move. Go on a walk around the block, or even do some exercises while you're watching that TV show. If it helps lessen your chances of possibly dying from cancer, then it's worth it.

Jennifer Maldonado
Jennifer Maldonado is a senior editor at Eat This, Not That!, specializing in food and health content. Read more
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