Post-menopausal women who walk for an hour a day can cut their chance of breast cancer significantly, a study has suggested.
The report, which followed 73,000 women for 17 years, found walking for at least seven hours a week lowered the risk of the disease. The American Cancer Society team said this was the first time reduced risk was specifically linked to walking. UK experts said it was more evidence that lifestyle influenced cancer risk.
A recent poll for the charity Ramblers found a quarter of adults walk for no more than an hour a week - but being active is known to reduce the risk of a number of cancers. This study, published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention followed 73,615 women out of 97,785 aged 50-74 who had been recruited by the American Cancer Society between 1992 and 1993 so it could monitor the incidence of cancer in the group.
They were asked to complete questionnaires on their health and on how much time they were active and participating in activities such as walking, swimming and aerobics and how much time they spent sitting watching television or reading. They completed the same questionnaires at two-year intervals between 1997 and 2009.