Walking a minimum of 10,000 steps a day (achievable in 2.5-3 hours on a treadmill desk) has already been a proven deterrent to our nation’s top three diseases: heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some forms of cancer.
Moderate exercise levels provided by walking have also been shown to improve lung quality and overall fitness but can it even prevent lung cancer? “We now believe physical activity is a primary component of preventing cancer,” says Abby Bloch, chairwoman of the Society’s advisory committee on nutrition and physical activity.
A 2007 study presented at the American Association for Cancer Research’s Sixth Annual International Conference on Cancer Prevention illustrated some remarkable findings that hopefully will get you out of your chair and up and walking.
The study found that indeed there is a lower risk of developing lung cancer among physically active individuals. This benefited both men and women, smokers and non smokers alike. Obviously, non-smokers have a better chance of preventing this disease but moderate exercise even improved the odds of the smoking population in the study.
Steven N. Blair, an epidemiologist with the Cooper Institute for Aerobics Research in Dallas, Texas, is studying the effects of exercise on lung cancer. His data suggesst that higher fitness levels are associated with a lower risk of developing the disease. Unfit men were 2x as likely to die of lung cancer than fit men.
His research found that moderately fit men had a 20 percent lower risk of dying of lung cancer compared with untit men. And men who were highly fit had a 60 percent lower risk than unfit men. This appeared true even after adjusting for smoking habits.
For those unfortunate to already have lung cancer the study found that the survival rates were higher for those individuals who remained physically active.
It was also found that moderate exercise such as walking decreased cancer related fatigue.
For many individuals the main challenge is finding the time and motivation to engage in a daily walking program. Treadmill desks offer a unique solution, allowing employees the opportunity of walking while they work, at slow speeds, without sweating.