Recent findings from a study published in JAMA Oncology have unveiled a promising strategy to combat cancer risks: just a few minutes of vigorous activity daily.

Conducted by the University of Sydney, Australia, researchers analyzed health data from 22,398 middle-aged adults. These participants, averaging 62 years and having no prior regular exercise habits, wore activity trackers for one week. Their health trajectories, including cancer diagnoses and hospital visits, were then observed for several years.

Surprisingly, the study showcased that those who practiced vigorous intermittent lifestyle physical activity (VILPA) for roughly 4.5 minutes daily slashed their chances of getting “physical activity-related cancer” by a remarkable 32%. This category covers cancers like kidney, bladder, stomach, and lung, tracked over a six to seven-year period.

Even for those who engaged in slightly shorter daily VILPA durations, between 3.4 to 3.6 minutes, the cancer risk plummeted by a significant 17% to 18%.

Professor Emmanuel Stamatakis, the study’s lead author from the University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Centre, commented on the findings. He highlighted that while many middle-aged individuals don’t exercise regularly, hiking their cancer risk, wearable tech now illuminates the potential benefits of even brief bouts of daily activity.

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What counts as VILPA? Think along the lines of brisk walking, heavy grocery lifting, ascending stairs, engaging in spirited games with kids, or doing demanding household chores.

However, it’s vital to note that the study isn’t without its limitations. A major one being that a staggering 96% of the study’s participants were of White ethnicity, potentially skewing the results’ applicability to broader populations.