A little exercise may help to prevent a host of diseases and more importantly colon polyp thought to be precursor of colon cancer.
In fact, just an hour a week of low-intensity exercise — even such seemingly trivial activities as walking on the street or climbing stairs — reduced risk, especially among individuals who are obese or overweight, according to new research slated to be presented Sunday at Digestive Disease Week in Chicago.
The findings are not really new, just confirmatory of what doctors have been urging all along: get out and move, not just to prevent polyps but to prevent a whole host of diseases.
This study included almost 1,000 patients of different ethnic and racial groups: 56.8 were Hispanic, 20.6 percent were Asian, 15.2 percent were black and 7 percent were white. The participants were middle-aged and at no increased risk for colon cancer or polyps. About two-thirds were overweight and about half exercised for at least an hour a week.
After performing screening colonoscopies, the researchers determined that people who exercised one or more hours a week had a 25.3 percent risk of polyps, versus 33.2 percent for those who didn’t meet this exercise threshold.
“Nobody knows why there’s a benefit from exercise,” Weinberg said. “You can come up with a couple of reasonable hypotheses. Is it because you’re altering some important set of biological pathways? There’s a lot of data that link obesity and polyps. Does that operate through insulin and insulin growth factors?”