4,5 minutes of intense physical activity a day could help reduce cancer risks

Just 4.5 minutes of intense physical activity every day could help to reduce the risk for some cancers, according to a new study published last week.

Published in the Jama Oncology journal and led by researchers at the University of Sydney in Australia, the study tracked the daily activity of more than 22,000 “non-exercisers” and monitored them for nearly seven years.

Emmanuel Stamatakis, a professor at the University of Sydney and the lead author of the study, said that while adults who don’t exercise have been found to have a greater risk of developing some cancers, researchers did not previously measure the impact of less structured forms of intense exercise.

The researchers excluded study participants who previously had cancer and observed their activity through wearable wrist devices that measure movement.

They also limited the study to people who did not exercise in their free time and who took one or fewer recreational walks per week. The average age of participants was 62.

The short bursts of activity could include:

  • intense housework

  • power walking

  • climbing stairs