Adult physical activity levels remain low, even as obesity
rates continue to soar. Both of these factors lead to an increased
risk for many forms of cancer later in life. Exactly how does
each of these traits affect risk for cancer deaths?
recently evaluated the effects of cardiorespiratory fitness
and obesity on all forms of cancer for approximately 5,500
men and women. In the study, appearing in Medicine & Science
in Sports & Exercise, cardiorespiratory fitness (based
on heart rate produced during a treadmill test) and body mass
index (or BMI, calculated from weight and height measurements)
were recorded between 1972-1976; participants were followed
until 1998 to determine cancer deaths.
Men who had the best cardiovascular fitness based on treadmill
tests were 53% less likely to die from cancer than the least-fit
men, while obese women with the highest BMI were 1.5 times
more likely to die from some form of cancer than other women.
Body weight had no effect on cancer risk in men, however,
and fitness did not significantly affect women's risk for
Men with low fitness levels and obese women may have significantly
increased risks for multiple forms of cancer. Nonetheless,
both men and women should maintain a healthy body weight and
cardiovascular fitness, as many studies have shown the benefits
of each for either gender. Your chiropractor can help you
put together the best fitness program to meet your individual
Evenson KR, Stevens J, et al. The effect of cardiorespiratory
fitness and obesity on cancer mortality in women and men.
Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise 2003:35(2),
Other studies on sports and fitness can be found at https://www.chiroweb.com/find/archives/sports.