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Discovering the causes of cancer and the means of prevention

Physical Activity

Over the years, DCEG research on the effect of physical activity on cancer has made a significant impact in the following areas:

DCEG studies indicated a reduced risk of colon, breast, endometrial, and ovarian cancers associated with physical activity (Albanes et al., 1989; Chow et al., 1993; Dosemeci et al., 1993; Sturgeon et al., 1993; Zheng et al., 1993) and were cited in the 1996 Surgeon General’s Report on Physical Activity and Health.

A DCEG study found that leisure-time physical activity is associated with longer life expectancy, even at relatively low levels of activity and regardless of body weight, a finding that reinforces U.S. guidelines for physical activity for all Americans (Moore SC, et al., 2012).

Pooling data on 1.44 million people from 12 prospective U.S. and European cohorts, DCEG investigators, and colleagues, found that leisure-time physical activity was associated with lower risks of 13 cancer types (esophageal adenocarcinoma, liver, lung, kidney, gastric cardia, endometrial, myeloid leukemia, myeloma, colon, head and neck, rectal, bladder, and breast). Most of these associations were evident regardless of body mass index or smoking history (Moore et al 2016). These findings confirm and extend the evidence for a benefit of physical activity on cancer risk and support its role as a key component of population-wide cancer prevention and control efforts.

Physical Activity: Full list of article citations

Learn about our current research on physical activity