A recent study by Cancer Research suggests that certain types of bowel cancer are more prevalent and related to spending 10 years or more in a desk-bound job.
In fact a desk based job almost doubles the risk of contracting bowel cancer according to researchers from the University of Western Australia, the findings revealing that even desk jockeys who go to the gym and regularly keep active are still twice as likely to develop tumours in the distal colon.
Comparisons were made between working patterns and 918 bowel cancer sufferers. The research took into account their job history, lifestyles and physical activity levels, and compared them against 1,021 cancer-free volunteers.
The results revealed that employees who have spent 10 years or more at their desk, are 94% more likely to suffer a tumour in the distal colon and the chances of cancer of the rectum increases by 44%. over the same 10 year period According to the researchers the harm done by sitting for long periods of time cannot be offset by any amount of leisure activity outside the office.
In the UK over 37,500 people annually are diagnosed with bowel cancers; as a result of this, about 16,000 people die. Cancer has always been one of our number one fears, and just over a third of the people in the UK believe that contracting cancer is dictated by fate.
In other words, we believe that there is nothing which can be done to prevent it happening to them. And although this bowel cancer research paints a pretty bleak picture – I mean; how many of us have been in a sit-down job for more than 10 years already?
There is always hope, and cancer is no longer the death sentence it once was many years ago. Since the 1970’s; long term survival for cancer victims has doubled, and nationwide screening programmes for bowel, breast, and cervical cancers is one of the reasons for sufferers living longer and more healthy lives.
It is also vital that the UK as a nation get over the “fear factor”; getting over this emphatic cancer fear means that spotting symptoms comes earlier too. This is another one of the main reasons for increased success in long-term survival rates.
Besides early detection, diagnoses are better and treatments and surgery have improved dramatically. The earlier a diagnosis takes place the sooner symptoms are treated and the more effective treatment will be.
So, in a very short forty years, twice the number of cancer victims have miraculously turned into “survivors”, and more and more people are becoming educated about the detection and the prevention of many of the most common cancers.
Although – we are not really sure quite yet, what it is we should do to improve the chances of our office based workers, we need to continue to promote health and well-being in the workplace, whether it is company yoga classes or discounted gym membership it all helps!
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