Reach Indians and South East Asians living in Australia



This is probably the most bizarre carcinogen we’d ever heard of. Move over, cigarettes and tar and asbestos; if a recent study can be believed, it appears that sitting too much can cause cancer. Not all kinds of cancer, mind you (thank God for small mercies), but definitely for endometrial and colon cancer.
A meta-analysis of 43 earlier studies involving close to 4 million people, it was found that the more a person sat, the higher the risk of the two types of cancer. Colon cancer went up 24% among sitters, whereas endometrial cancer went up 32%. On the greener side of the meadow, no other form of cancer was found to be related to sitting down in any way.
There is a possibility that this is just correlation and not causation. For instance, a person who sits in front of the television a lot would also engage in other behaviour which is known to be cancer-causing: like snacking and soda-drinking. What is striking, though, is the indication that the risk of cancer went up among sitters irrespective of whether they are physically active or not.
In short, exercise did not matter.
More research will be needed to understand why a lack of movement adds so substantially to cancer risk, but at least the solution is clear enough. It is not sufficient – as we normally think – to ‘get enough exercise’. What is needed is that we punctuate long periods of sitting with some standing and walking.
Strategies such as scheduling a ‘walking around’ time to break your sitting phases, educating kids so that they don’t develop the habit of sitting, and using walking as social interludes during the work day should be used.
So get off your bottom and walk a little!

Ankit Gupta

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