Our policy on physical activity
Adults who are physically active have a 20-30 per cent reduced risk of premature death and up to 50 per cent reduced risk of developing the major chronic diseases such as coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancers. Physical activity is associated with a reduction in the overall risk of cancer, and this is particularly marked with bowel cancer. The most active individuals have a 40-50 per cent lower risk of developing colon cancer than the least active.
Despite the health benefits of exercise, levels of physical activity in the population are low, with about two thirds of men and three-quarters of women doing less than the recommended levels. Cancer Research UK believes that Government should be:
- increasing the number and range of safe and accessible facilities available for sport and physical activity, especially in low-income areas.
- ensuring that all Government departments, including those concerned with planning and public transport, must take a coordinated approach to promoting physical activity and increasing opportunities for people to take regular exercise.
- further promoting physical activity in schools by raising the priority of exercise in the curriculum in primary schools and increasing the range of opportunities for children to undertake regular exercise.
- encouraging physical activity in older people. Exercise also very important for older people in terms of maintaining their mobility, quality of life and independence - reducing demand on the NHS and social services.
Question about cancer? Contact our information nurse team