People who lead an active lifestyle are up to three times less likely to develop polyps which can develop into bowel cancer, according to a study.
The report pulls together 20 previous studies looking at the link between exercise and the development of large polyps. Bowel cancer is the third most common cancer in the UK. More than 38,000 people are diagnosed with the disease each year.
The work was done by scientists from the Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis in the US.
Publishing their findings in the British Journal of Cancer, they say they have produced the most accurate figures yet that show low exercise levels are linked to bowel polyps. They found that people who take regular exercise were 16% less likely to develop bowel polyps and 30% less likely to develop large or advanced polyps.