Dr Nicola Orsini and colleagues from Sweden conducted a population-based cohort study of 40,708 men aged 45 to 79 years followed from 1998 to 2004.
After adjusting for potential confounders, the research team observed a strong inverse linear association between total daily physical activity and death from cancer.
The team evaluated physical activity by the metabolic equivalent-hour per day, approximately 1 h daily of moderate effort.
| Walking or bicycling an average of 30 minutes per day improved cancer survival by 33%|
|British Journal of Cancer|
For each increment of 4 metabolic equivalent-hour per day of total physical activity cancer incidence tended to be decreased by 2% and cancer mortality decreased significantly by 12%.
The 5-year survival after cancer among those men in the top quartile of total physical activity was 77%.
The researchers noted that the 5-year survival after cancer among those men in the lowest quartile of total physical activity was 69%.
Compared to those men who hardly ever walked or biked, walking or bicycling an average of 30 minutes per day was associated with a 34% lower rate of cancer death.
The research team observed that walking or bicycling an average of 30 minutes per day improved cancer survival by 33%.
Incidence of cancer was 16% lower among those who walked or biked at least 60 minutes per day.
Dr Orsini's team commented, "Our results suggest that higher levels of physical activity and the main component of active living, walking or bicycling are associated with reduced cancer incidence and mortality, as well as higher cancer survival."