Women who exercise by doing housework can reduce their risk of breast cancer, according to a new study. The research is published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention.
The research on more than 200,000 women from nine European countries found doing household chores was far more cancer protective than playing sport. Dusting, mopping and vacuuming was also better than having a physical job. The women in the Cancer Research UK-funded study spent an average of 16 to 17 hours a week cooking, cleaning and doing the washing.
The latest study looked at both pre- and post-menopausal women and a range of activities, including work, leisure and housework. All forms of physical activity combined reduced the breast cancer risk in post-menopausal women, but had no obvious effect in pre-menopausal women.
Moderate forms of physical activity, such as housework, may be more important than less frequent but more intense recreational physical activity in reducing breast cancer risk.