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Housework, exercise, breast cancer: which of these things doesn’t belong?  None of them, it turns out. There’s a distinct relationship between breast cancer risk and your level of physical activity.

Two-and-a-half hours of housework or walking each day can help to eliminate a woman’s chance of developing cancer of the breast by 6 percent, new research finds. Three hours of gardening, or just being moderately active, is good for a ten percent drop in risk levels, while extremely active women prepared to do 6 hours of housework a day, can see a 13 percent drop in risk.

The study, published in the International Journal of Cancer, looked at 257,805 women across Europe who were area of the massive European Prospective Investigation of Cancer (EPIC) study, which looks into the dietary habits of more than 500,000 individuals Europe, and was funded by Cancer Research UK. The study team states that the findings are particularly important because adding exercise or activity for your day is really a relatively simple method of reducing cancer risk.

According to the Telegraph, 8,034 new installments of cancer that were diagnosed over 11 years were examined and analyzed according to just how much exercise the patients did along with other factors for example body weight, whether or not they breastfed, and alcohol consumption. When the additional factors were taken into consideration, it had been discovered that the more exercise or daily activity a woman got, the higher the decrease in their cancer risk. Even moderate levels of exercise still had an impact. This research is believed to become the largest ever to look at exercise and cancer of the breast.

Around 48,500 women and 371 males are diagnosed with breast cancer annually in the UK and around 11,500 ladies and 77 men die from the disease each year.

Previous studies have estimated that more than 3 % of cancers of the breast, more than five percent of colon cancers and around 4 % of womb cancers in the UK this year were linked to people doing under the recommended 150 minutes of at least moderate intensity physical activity per week. Only 39 percent in men and 29 percent of ladies get the full 150 minutes of activity each week.

Physical activity was calculated utilizing a measure known as a MET, short for metabolism. One MET is equivalent to sitting quietly for an hour. Walking is offered three METs, cycling six, gardening an hour may be worth 4-5 METs, housework three, and climbing stairs an astonishing eight METs.

Co-author Professor Tim Key, in the University of Oxford, said, “This huge study further highlights the benefits of being active, even moderate amounts. There is also a lot of evidence that exercise reduces the chance of bowel cancer. More research is needed on other kinds of cancer, and also to investigate the mechanisms that could explain the hyperlinks.”

“An essential finding of the study is the fact that inverse associations of cancer of the breast with both moderate and high physical activity levels were observed. Unlike many risks for cancers of the breast, physical activity is definitely an exposure that can be modified. Thus, it’s worth consideration for cancer prevention programs to note these amounts of activity are achievable by the majority of the in danger population, and that already some changes in physical activity behavior will have a positive affect on cancer of the breast incidence,” Key told the Telegraph’s Rebecca Smith.

Prof. Key indicated that the ladies in this study originated from an era where they did a lot of home cooking, manual housework, or had active jobs which meant these were in a position to reach these relatively high levels of activity. However, the findings were based on self reporting of activity levels, which means the participants might have overestimated their activity.

Sara Hiom, director of knowledge at Cancer Research UK, told the Daily Mail, “While maintaining a proper bodyweight and reducing alcohol remain two best ways of reducing our chance of breast cancer, being active can clearly play a role too, but doesn´t need to be expensive for you or a lot of time. And, because this research confirms, exercise can include anything that leaves you slightly out of breath like doing the gardening, walking the dog or housework.”

“Small alterations in your health can make a big difference, like taking the stairs instead of the lift or walking some of the way to work, school or even the shops and add up during the period of a week. Keeping active may help prevent more than 3,000 cases of cancer in the UK every year. And it can have a positive impact on your health.”

Baroness Delyth Morgan, chief executive from the charity, Cancer of the breast Campaign told the Telegraph reporter, “This research adds further evidence that our lifestyle choices can play a part in influencing the risk of breast along with other cancers. The task now’s the way we turn these findings into action to ensure that existing and health initiatives act as hard as they can to reach those people who’d most benefit. It is important to keep in mind that while exercise might help reduce risk, being a woman and increasing age are the biggest risks, each of which we can do nothing about.”

Lowering your risk of breast cancer isn’t the only positive consequence of more physical activity. Other studies suggest that 10-minute bursts of activity, like hauling laundry up and down the stairs, may also accumulate throughout the day to help protect our hearts. Men should help out too, since researchers have demonstrated that women´s stress levels hormones drop after work when men assume some of the required meal preparation along with other chores.

Though you might see faster and more dramatic results by lifting weights on and on to a health club, this research shows that you shouldn’t discount standing at the counter chopping vegetables or working in the garden either. Every bit of exercise during a day accumulates, and anything that gets us up from the couch and moving makes us healthier, reports Deborah Kotz for the Boston Globe.