Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Dr. Patel: Using information from more than 146,000 men and women (69,260 men and 77,462 women) who were cancer-free and enrolled in the American Cancer Society Cancer Prevention Study II Nutrition Cohort, we examined the association between leisure time spent sitting and cancer risk. Study participants were followed from 1992 through 2009, during which time 18,555 men and 12,236 women were diagnosed with cancer. We found longer leisure-time spent sitting was associated with a 10 percent higher risk of cancer in women after adjustment for physical activity, BMI, and other factors. The association in women was primarily due to invasive breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and multiple myeloma. No association was apparent in men.
Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?
Dr. Patel: These findings add to the growing body of scientific evidence that prolonged sitting is harmful to your overall health. Given the high rate of sedentary time in the U.S. any efforts to decrease sitting time can have broad public health benefit.
Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Dr. Patel: American Cancer Society guidelines for cancer prevention currently recommend reducing sitting time when possible. We need to conduct additional research to better understand the differences in associations between men and women as well as to quantify how much (or little) individuals should sit to prevent these negative health effects.
Alpa Patel, PHD (2015). Increased Leisure Time Sitting Raises Cancer Risk