Post-menopausal women can reduce the risk of developing breast cancer by walking just an hour a day, a US study suggests.
Walking has many health benefits
A report that analysed more than 73,000 women for the best part of two decades concluded that walking for seven or more hours a week lowered the chance of breast cancer.
The study was published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention and was conducted by a team from the American Cancer Society.
The American Cancer Society believe this was the first time a proven link between walking showed a reduced risk in developing breast cancer.
The process involved following 73,615 women aged between 50-74 who worked with the American Cancer Society and began research between 1992 and 1993. The group was set up to monitor the incidences of cancer compared to the lifestyle and physical activity of each of the women.
In 2005-2009, 85.1% of adult female breast cancer patients in England survived their cancer for five years or more, according to Cancer Research UK.
The women completed questionnaires on their health and were asked in detail about their physical routines. The aim was to see how many of them were active and which activities they did such as walking, aerobics and swimming.
The women were also asked how often they watched the television or read. The questionnaires were done every two years between 1997 and 2009.
The results showed that those who walked for a minimum of seven hours a week reduced their risk of developing breast cancer by 14% compare to those who walked only three hours a week.
Dr Alpa Patel from the American Cancer Society led the study said: "Given that more than 60% of women report some daily walking, promoting walking as a healthy leisure-time activity could be an effective strategy for increasing physical activity amongst post-menopausal women.
"We were pleased to find that without any other recreational activity, just walking one hour a day was associated with a lower risk of breast cancer in these women.
"More strenuous and longer activities lowered the risk even more."
Walking is a good way to stay fit and some health insurance providers will reduce your premiums if you do partake in frequent physical activity.
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