HealthDay News — The combination of prolonged sitting with lack of physical activity increases the risk for death among cancer survivors, according to a study published online Jan. 6 in JAMA Oncology.

Chao Cao, from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, and colleagues examined associations of daily sitting time and leisure-time physical activity with mortality outcomes among cancer survivors. The analysis included 1,535 cancer survivors (aged 40 years or older) identified from the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2007 to 2014) with follow-up through 2015 (median 4.5 years of follow-up).

The researchers found that being physically active was associated with lower risks for all-cause (hazard ratio [HR], 0.34) and cancer-specific (HR, 0.32) mortality compared with inactivity. Further, sitting more than eight hours per day was associated with all-cause (HR, 1.81) and cancer-specific (HR, 2.27) mortality versus sitting less than four hours per day. Inactive and insufficiently active cancer survivors who reported sitting more than eight hours per day had the highest overall (HR, 5.38) and cancer-specific (HR, 4.71) mortality risks.


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“Future research may further elucidate these associations and provide more evidence that quantifies the timing, dosage, limits, and domains of sedentary behavior and physical activity to increase cancer survival,” the authors write.

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