The associations of sitting time and physical activity on total and site-specific cancer incidence: Results from the HUNT study, Norway
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionPLoS ONE. 2018, 13:e0206015 (10), 1-14. 10.1371/journal.pone.0206015
Background Sedentary behavior is thought to pose different risks to those attributable to physical inactivity. However, few studies have examined the association between physical activity and sitting time with cancer incidence within the same population. Methods We followed 38,154 healthy Norwegian adults in the Nord-Trøndelag Health Study (HUNT) for cancer incidence from 1995–97 to 2014. Cox proportional hazards regression was used to estimate risk of site-specific and total cancer incidence by baseline sitting time and physical activity. Results During the 16-years follow-up, 4,196 (11%) persons were diagnosed with cancer. We found no evidence that people who had prolonged sitting per day or had low levels of physical activity had an increased risk of total cancer incidence, compared to those who had low sitting time and were physically active. In the multivariate model, sitting ≥8 h/day was associated with 22% (95% CI, 1.05–1.42) higher risk of prostate cancer compared to sitting <8 h/day. Further, men with low physical activity (≤8.3 MET-h/week) had 31% (95% CI, 1.00–1.70) increased risk of colorectal cancer (CRC) and 45% (95% CI, 1.01–2.09) increased risk of lung cancer compared to participants with a high physical activity (>16.6 MET-h/week). The joint effects of physical activity and sitting time the indicated that prolonged sitting time increased the risk of CRC independent of physical activity in men. Conclusions Our findings suggest that prolonged sitting and low physical activity are positively associated with colorectal-, prostate- and lung cancer among men. Sitting time and physical activity were not associated with cancer incidence among women. The findings emphasizing the importance of reducing sitting time and increasing physical activity.