home
RSS
Sitting too long may increase your cancer risk
June 17th, 2014
10:49 AM ET

Sitting too long may increase your cancer risk

If you’re spending a lot of time sitting every day, either in front of the TV or at work, you may be at higher risk for developing certain types of cancer, according to new research published this week in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

The study found an additional two hours a day of sedentary behavior was linked to an 8% increase in colon cancer risk, a 10% increase in endometrial cancer risk and a 6% increase in risk for lung cancer. It did not find the same connection for breast, rectum, ovary and prostate cancers or for non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Researchers came to these conclusions by analyzing 43 existing studies - that included more than 4 million study participants and 68,936 cancer cases - to measure the relationship between hours spent sitting and certain types of cancers.

It’s important to note that while the study identifies a link between sedentary behavior and an increased risk for certain cancers, the research doesn't prove cause and effect.

“Does sitting in front of the TV cause colon cancer? No,” said Dr. Martin Heslin, chief of surgical oncology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. “But the recommendations (of the study) are awesome.”

Heslin, who was not involved in the research, says that in addition to sedentary behavior, several factors can increase your risk of cancer, including drinking or smoking too much, being obese and having a genetic predisposition.

It’s nearly impossible to say that any one of these factors causes someone to get a specific cancer, he says, but these are the behaviors we can control to help reduce our risk.

“You can affect TV time by turning it off," said Heslin, though he acknowledges it's not so easy to turn off work if you're stuck in an office all day.

In that case, Heslin suggests looking for opportunities to leave your desk, such as standing up while working or taking a walk, to reduce the number of hours you spend sitting down.

“If I ever have the opportunity to design (a meeting room), I’m putting a waist-high table in the room, and no chairs,” Heslin said.

According to an editorial accompanying the study, organizations such as the American Cancer Society and the UK Department of Public Health address the need to reduce hours spent sitting, but do not offer any quantitative recommendations or strategies to help people improve.

Daniela Schmid, one of the study's co-authors and a faculty member in the University of Regensburg's department of epidemiology and preventive medicine, hopes to change that.

"The findings of our study may encourage public health efforts to expand physical activity recommendations to reduce time spent in sedentary behavior,” Schmid said.

Previous studies support the findings in Schmid’s study. A 2012 study conducted by the National Institutes of Health concluded that sitting for several hours a day is bad for you, even if you are physically active. Researchers found even exercising at least 150 minutes each week – the generally accepted public health guideline for physical activity – can’t reverse the negative effects of sitting down for hours.

In that study, sitting increased an individual's risk for major chronic diseases such as Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and breast and colon cancers.


soundoff (215 Responses)
  1. Obviously

    Ban chairs!

    June 18, 2014 at 02:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Greel Chinson

    I work as a chair salesman. The jabroni who wrote this article is trying to put me out of a job.

    June 18, 2014 at 06:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. dustieryder111

    everything causes cancer...

    June 18, 2014 at 07:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Stephen

    Breathing raises the risk of cancer. You can't get it if you're dead.

    June 18, 2014 at 08:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. fidel

    another study by humans, for humans, reported by humans, to sell more products to humans

    June 18, 2014 at 08:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. John

    I quit reading this article shortly after starting to read it. It gave me a pain in the same area the article claims will be affected by cancer from sitting too much. I was afraid reading it further would give me cancer.

    June 18, 2014 at 09:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. puddintane

    What to do but smoke dope. It cures cancer, say experts. Smoke it sitting down, go ahead, eating junk food

    June 18, 2014 at 09:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. jpluttme

    A recent study showed that doing anything except exercising and eating and living healthy can cause cancer. 100% of the participants eventually died, but not all from cancer.

    June 18, 2014 at 11:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Robin

    Thats totally messed up im in a wheelchair I have to sit all the time

    June 18, 2014 at 13:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Rony

    Watching too much CNN causes brain damage

    June 18, 2014 at 15:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. localdeli

    oh, c'mon...maybe increased exposure to radiation from television and computers or formaldehyde from chair upholstery—did this study rule out other causes? That grant money might have served a better purpose.

    June 18, 2014 at 15:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Rob

    This just in...Being alive causes Cancer!

    June 18, 2014 at 21:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. du

    Bring back real manufacturing, get rid of robots...

    June 18, 2014 at 21:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. jdoe

    In other words, Americans are doomed.

    June 19, 2014 at 00:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Frank Eggers

    Never sit down. Upon arising from bed in the morning, walk continuously. Eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner while walking. Don't ever have a desk job. Instead, get a job that requires walking all day. I don't know about using the bathroom; probably you should just do it as quickly as possible. Finally, when it is bed time, go immediately to bed without sitting down at any time.

    June 19, 2014 at 02:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Portlandtony

    Certainly man has been sitting forever since evolution has allowed us to develop a relative large posterior or butt that makes sitting comfortable.

    June 20, 2014 at 11:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. rudy

    BREAKING NEWS !!! reading this non sense causes brain cancer

    June 21, 2014 at 22:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. roperztpxb

    When you truly love someone, age, distance, height, and weight are just numbers. === InterracialDatingChicago( . )com is ===a serious online interracial dating Services offering real and successful opportunities to meet your right person at Chicago,USA. Our site provides interracial dating service about white women looking for black men, or black men dating white women online! Hundreds of new interracial singles who same as you join us everyday. bbbbbbbbbbb

    June 22, 2014 at 22:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. mary ann

    Sooo. Eat less, exercise more. Groundbreaking. Simply life changing.

    June 25, 2014 at 23:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Nursalam Aprian

    When I'm sitting too long, I drink water so much, coz I think it can make me to hard for stand up And so, I'm wallking to lose my energy.... Step by step..... Thankss for information

    June 30, 2014 at 10:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. odalice feliz

    Exercise my people..... enjoy the art of working out...

    July 1, 2014 at 18:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. ray ban aviator lenses replacement

    nd the LED should flash! You may see errors telling you to define PAGEL and BS2 signals but you can ignore these, It works just fine. At this stage you could remove the chip from the breadboard and power it with 2 AA batteries and it would work on its own. If everything went to plan, you should now see Hello Worldon your LCD and a counter on line 2 that increments every second. The ShiftLCD is exactly the same as the built in LiquidCrystal librar.
    ray ban aviator lenses replacement http://imc-middleeast.com/images/raybanoutlet/ray-ban-aviator-lenses-replacement-.-6q.asp

    December 3, 2015 at 13:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Mui Barken

    harrisburg dui attorney

    http://www.ghhlI8FyNJ.com/ghhlI8FyNJ

    August 3, 2016 at 12:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. emily

    Well made chairs will provide you with a healthy comfortable sit this article lists 10 of the best stool chairs in the united states http://best10for.com/good-quality-cheap-barstools/10-best-backless-stool-chairs-review-2016-2017/

    August 15, 2016 at 05:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. John

    I know w good chair when i see one i guess this could help best10for.com/good-quality-cheap-barstools/10-best-backless-stool-chairs-review-2016-2017/

    August 15, 2016 at 05:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. buy albuterol inhaler

    This blog really speaks to me. Thank you!

    https://penzu.com/p/fe8195ce

    February 14, 2017 at 19:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Kayaking MAPS

    Sitting too long is also bad for your heart and I try to get up at least every 20 minutes at work and walk around . Good article

    May 29, 2017 at 16:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Michaelendut

    wh0cd849167 Lexapro By Mail Order purchase nexium

    August 28, 2017 at 20:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. GbeduJamz

    Better

    January 6, 2018 at 07:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Toptunez.com

    Check out
    Mc Galaxy Aliona Mp3 Download

    May 13, 2019 at 10:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. mommy pathdoc

    I want to give all thanks to ..robinson.buckler {@yahoo}}. com…… for helping me to cure my Herpes Simplex virus disease which i have been suffering for the past 3years…………Sincerely ♥️

    November 7, 2020 at 02:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Latonia Kollmeyer

    Hello.. . I would be grateful for advice on creative writing copywright issues.. . When submitting poetry, short stories, novels, or features to publishers and literary agents to consider for publication, is it an idea to protect the copywright?. . If so, what's the best way to do this?. . Thank you in advance.. . bgscotty.

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/kmkowalsky/

    January 19, 2021 at 18:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Gennie Vegetabile

    https://www.electricpercolatorcoffeepot.com/10-top-coffee-bloggers/

    March 6, 2021 at 14:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Darla Radigan

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is basically a online game where you can do anything you want. sl is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you would like to see more you can see these Second Life websites and blogs

    http://myvedana.blogspot.com/2005/03/new-looknew-word.html?m=0

    May 10, 2021 at 14:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Maryland Bartsch

    This was awesome! I would like you to clean up all this spam though

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/yusuf-hanafy-82493b183

    May 12, 2021 at 02:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. https://www.yamatocosmos.com

    Best view i have ever seen !

    https://maps.google.ro/url?q=https://www.yamatocosmos.com

    May 13, 2021 at 22:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Maude Szwaja

    I don't know about you all but I love airplanes. I had a friend in highschool that loved airplanes, so here are some airplane related stuff I don't know about you guys but I love airplanes. I had a friend in highschool that loved airplanes, so here are some airplane related stuff https://www.airlinereporter.com/2010/05/airlines-made-7-8-billion-in-fees-last-year/

    http://urlm.co/g/c/f/163871

    May 16, 2021 at 15:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Ola Wasp

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is basically a online game where you can do anything you want. Second life is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you want to see more you can see these sl websites and blogs

    http://myvedana.blogspot.com/2004/11/am-i-social-group-am-i-i-think-our.html?showComment=1100624520000&m=0

    May 17, 2021 at 06:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Haywood Piefer

    I don't know about you people but I infatuated with airplanes. I have a friend in highschool that loves airplanes, so here are some airplane related stuff I don't know about you guys but I love airplanes. I had a friend in highschool that loved airplanes, so here are some airplane related stuff https://www.airlinereporter.com/2009/06/new-bling-comes-to-the-boeing-737/

    http://privatejetstoday.blogspot.com/2010/08/private-jet-flight-attendant-jobs.html

    May 17, 2021 at 19:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Marcie Oppenheim

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is essentially a video game where you can do anything you want. sl is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you want to see more you can see these Second Life articles and blogs

    http://everydayliteracies.blogspot.com/2011_11_01_archive.html

    May 20, 2021 at 02:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Nguyet Wyke

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is essentially a game where you can do anything you want. Second life is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you would like to see more you can see these Second Life articles and blogs

    http://myvedana.blogspot.com/2005/12/im-so-lucky.html?m=0

    May 20, 2021 at 19:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Drusilla Paponetti

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is essentially a game where you can do anything you want. SL is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you would like to see more you can see these sl websites and blogs

    http://lostbiro.com/blog/?page_i&paged=97

    May 23, 2021 at 03:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Mika Ghant

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is basically a online game where you can do anything you want. sl is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you would like to see more you can see these Second Life authors and blogs

    http://herald.blogs.com/slh/2008/11/something-wicke.html?cid=138275552

    May 28, 2021 at 04:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. trưc tiếp bóng đá hôm nay

    Lịch Vạc Sóng đá Bóngtruc tie bong dacũng có thể nói, binhluan.vn có thương hiệu và chất lượng cực kỳ chi là mượt mà luôn luôn. Bất cứ ai đó đã từng xem bong da trên link đá bóng thẳng của keonhacai1.tv thì cần thừa nhận một điều coi cực kỳ đã. Nên cứ có mỗi trận đấu trong bất cứ giải đấu nào thì lượng nhân viên coi truy vấn vào keonhacai1 vô cùng rộng lớn. Thông tin lịch thi đấu.

    https://www.thedolive.cc/

    May 28, 2021 at 21:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. xem bong da truc tuyen tay ban nha

    Trực Tiếp Bóng Đáxem kq truc tiep bong dacũng có thể nói, binhluan.vn có hình ảnh và chất lượng rất chi là mượt mà luôn luôn. Bất cứ ai đã từng coi bong da trên liên kết bóng đá trực tiếp của keonhacai1.tv thì cần công nhận một điều coi cực kỳ đã. Nên cứ có mỗi trận đấu vào bất cứ giải đấu nà thì lượng nhân viên xem truy cập vào keonhacai1 vô cùng lớn. Thông tin lịch thi đấu.

    https://www.thedolive.cc/

    May 28, 2021 at 22:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. bóng đá online

    Lịch Phát Sóng Bóng Đátrực tiếp bóng đá đêm nayCó thể nói, binhluan.vn có thương hiệu và chất lượng vô cùng chi là mượt mà luôn. Bất cứ ai đã từng coi bong da bên trên liên kết bóng đá thẳng của keonhacai1.tv thì cần công nhận một điều coi rất đã. Nên cứ có mỗi trận đấu trong bất kể giải đấu nà thì lượng nhân viên xem truy cập vào keonhacai1 vô cùng rộng lớn. Thông tin lịch tranh tài.

    https://www.thedolive.cc/

    May 29, 2021 at 01:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Marva Randoll

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is basically a game where you can do anything you want. sl is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you want to see more you can see these sl articles and blogs

    http://beyondnewhorizons.com/tag/reader-response/

    May 29, 2021 at 04:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. xem bd truc tuyen keo nha cai

    Trực Tiếp Soccer Hôm Naybóng đá trực tuyencũng có thể nói, binhluan.vn có hình ảnh và hóa học lượng rất chi là mượt mà luôn luôn. Bất cứ ai đó đã từng coi bong da bên trên link đá bóng trực tiếp của keonhacai1.tv thì phải thừa nhận một điều coi cực kỳ đã. Nên cứ có mỗi trận đấu vào bất kể giải đấu nào là thì lượng người coi truy vấn vào keonhacai1 vô cùng lớn. Thông tin lịch thi đấu.

    https://www.thedolive.cc/

    May 29, 2021 at 06:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Hassan Racano

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is basically a game where you can do anything you want. SL is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you want to see more you can see these second life articles and blogs

    http://scholar.google.com/citations?user=nzIa-ZQAAAAJ&hl=en

    May 30, 2021 at 05:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Tiffany Wolpert

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is essentially a game where you can do anything you want. sl is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you would like to see more you can see these sl articles and blogs

    http://beyondnewhorizons.com/2009/04/rise-of-the-new-literacy-practices/

    May 31, 2021 at 04:01 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

Advertisement
About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.