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Exercise and Cancer Mortality Rates

In an article published in 2015 by the British Journal of Sports Medicine, they performed a meta-analysis of 71 studies looking at the relationship between exercise and cancer mortality. They found that in the general population, regular moderate exercise decreased the risk of cancer mortality by 13% and in cancer survivors decreased the risk of cancer mortality by 27%. The study determined that the recommended dose of moderate exercise for the general population was a minimum of 2.5 hours per week and for cancer survivors a minimum 3.75 hours per week. Another interesting point from the article, there was a greater protective effect of exercise after cancer diagnosis compared to before (35% to 21% respectively).


Exercise is important for so many different reasons! Not only does it help prevent disease, but it can help fight disease as well.

From the information in this particular article, I recommend everyone get at least 2.5 hours of moderate exercise per week (or at least 30 minutes, 5 days/week). Some examples of moderate exercise include: walking briskly (3 mph or greater), playing doubles tennis, bicycling (5-10 mph), water aerobics, ballroom dancing, yoga, and golf (no cart).

Tingting Li, Shaozhong Wei, Yun Shi, Shuo Pang, Qin Qin, Jieyun Yin, Yunte Deng, Qiongrong Chen, Sheng Wei, Shaofa Nie, Li Liu The dose–response effect of physical activity on cancer mortality: findings from 71 prospective cohort studies

Marc Hunley, PT