Research shows that just one hour of vigorous exercise a day can reduce breast cancer risk by 25% and walking for just one hour each day can reduce risk of breast cancer by 14%. Women who participated in no less than 60 minutes of vigorous physical activity each day had a 25% reduced breast cancer risk, and women who walked for no less than 7 hours each week had a 14% reduced breast cancer risk.
The researchers evaluated if recreational physical activity, in particular walking, was linked to a reduced risk of breast cancer. Considering that over 60% of women reported having walked daily, encouraging walking as a healthy leisure time activity can be a useful approach to increase physical activity in postmenopausal women. They found that with no additional recreational activity, walking just an average of 60 minutes each day was linked to reduced breast cancer risk in these women.
It was determined that the observed benefits of physical activity and walking weren’t influenced by body type or hormonal status.
Existing guidelines advise that adults should make an effort to get a minimum of 2.5 hours moderate-intensity activity each week of, or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity each week for overall health. Larger amounts of activity could provide more benefit for prevention of breast cancer.
All individuals gave information on the average amount of hours that were allocated to different physical activities such as jogging, walking, swimming, bicycling, playing tennis and doing aerobic exercises each week, as well as the amount of hours spent in leisure time sitting, such as reading and watching television .The total hours of MET (metabolic equivalent) for each individual was calculated each week, MET is a unit for expressing the energy cost of physical activities as a multiple of the resting metabolic rate.
4,760 of women later developed breast cancer.
The study revealed that approximately 9.2% of the women didn’t participate in any physical activity, and approximately 47% of women declared walking as their only physical activity. The average MET expenditure in active women was 9.5 MET hours each week, which equals 3.5 hours of moderate pace walking.
It was discovered that the most active women having 42 MET hours each week or more had a 25% reduced risk of breast cancer in comparison to women who were least active, with fewer than 7 MET hours each week. In those that noted walking as their only activity, women who walked for 7 hours or more each week had a 14% reduced risk of breast cancer, in comparison to women who walked for 3 hours or less.