Such barriers are more common among certain groups of people, including Black Americans and those with low incomes, according to study leader Adair Minihan, of the American Cancer Society, and colleagues.
When the researchers focused on types of cancer, they concluded that about 17% of stomach cancers, 12% of endometrial cancers, 11% of kidney cancers and 9% of colon cancers were associated with lack of exercise. So too were an estimated 8% of esophageal cancers, 7% of breast cancers and 4% of urinary bladder cancers.
The report was published recently in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.
States with the highest proportion of cancers attributable to physical inactivity were in the South, including Kentucky, West Virginia, Louisiana, Tennessee and Mississippi. The lowest proportions were in the Mountain region and northern states, including Utah, Montana, Wyoming, Washington and Wisconsin.
Kentucky had the highest proportion (almost 4%) while Utah had the lowest (about 2%).
“These findings underscore the need to encourage physical activity as a means of cancer prevention and implement individual- and community-level interventions that address the various behavioral and socioeconomic barriers to recreational physical activity,” the study authors explained in a cancer society news release.
“Understanding and reducing the behavioral and socioeconomic barriers to physical activity is essential for optimizing intervention strategies targeting at-risk groups across the country,” the team added.
The U.S. National Cancer Institute has more on physical activity and cancer.
SOURCE: American Cancer Society, news release, Oct. 14, 2021