It’s Time to Get Up and Move

Tuesday, July 1, 2014
Judy Behm
Preventing Colorectal Cancer

Reimbursement for preventive services has been a highlight of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), particularly when it relates to colorectal cancer screening colonoscopies. However, as a recent study indicates, preventive measures do not always require a trip to the doctors.

New research zeroed in on 43 studies that specifically looked at the link between sitting and nearly 70,000 cases of cancer. The study suggests that people who sit for long periods of time have an increased risk of developing colon cancer. As people become increasingly sedentary due to longer commutes, jobs that require prolonged periods of working behind a computer, and the amount of leisure time spent sitting in front of a television, a consistent relationship between hours spent sitting and an increased risk for colon cancer became apparent.

The study suggests that the negative effects of long periods of sitting are not negated by regular or daily exercise, but by breaking up the extended periods of sitting. The good news is that risks can be decreased by becoming more active. Physical activity and less time spent sitting means a lesser risk of developing colon cancer that is the result of a sedentary lifestyle. It’s time to get up and move.

How about taking that next phone call standing up or walking around during commercial breaks? Please be advised that a less sedentary lifestyle will not eliminate your risk for colon cancer, but it will decrease your chances. Even though a more active lifestyle is important, it does not replace the need for screening colonoscopies. Considering one in 20 Americans will develop this type of cancer at some point in their lives, colorectal cancer screenings are vitally important as a preventive measure.