The Magic Pill & Cancer

The Key Points:

Suggestions on how to get physical active:

Please talk to your GP before starting a new exercise regime

  • Just moving a little every 30 to 60 minutes can have profound effects on your physical and mental health, reducing your risk of certain type of cancers. Instead of being sat at your desk all day, after each meeting get up and do a few minutes’ walk.
  • You don’t have to run a 5k to get active or become active, just going for a 10-minute walk in the morning and evening is a good starting point.
  • Pick an activity that you enjoy and see if a friend or family member wants to get involved. Getting active with a friend or family member can help to get you motivated and stay motivated. Sometimes the most difficult part is getting out the door, getting active with a friend or family member can help you get out the door.
  • When first starting out, start off slowly and build the duration and intensity of exercise up over time. This helps to adapt your body over time and reduces the amount of muscle soreness you may feel the next day.
  • Aim for 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity 5 times a week, ensure not to have more than 2 days of rest between exercise sessions.

The Magic Pill & Cancer: The Key Points

  • Over one-third of cancer deaths and about 80% of heart disease, strokes and type 2 diabetes could be prevented by behavioral risk factors such as an unhealthy diet, tobacco smoking, alcohol intake and physical inactivity1,2.
  • Physical activity is defined as any bodily movement that uses your muscles and requires more energy than you would use if you were resting3. These types of activities can include gardening, housework, walking, jogging, swimming and cycling.
  • There is strong scientific evidence linking a lower cancer risk to those who are physical active due to a reduction in risk factors such as reduced body fat percentage, decrease in sex and metabolic hormones, changes in insulin resistance, improvement in immune function and a reduction in inflammation1.
  • The duration, frequency and intensity of physical activity all play a part in influencing cancer risk. With the first important consideration to be that regular moderate physical activity performed over lifetime/long-term shows the most.


    1. Kruck, J., and Czerniak, U. (2013). “Physical Activity and its Relation to Cancer Risk: Updating the Evidence.” Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention. 14(7):3992-4003.
    2. World Health Organization (2008). “2008-2013 action plan for global strategy for the prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases.” WHO, Geneva.
    3. Caspersen, C.J., Powell, K.E., and Christensen, G.M. (1985). “Physical activity, exercise, and physical fitness: definitions and distinctions for health-related research.” Public Health Reports. 100(2):126-131.