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Six in ten adults unaware that 30 mins of physical activity most days reduces bowel cancer risk

Almost two thirds of adults living in the UK (63%) are not aware that being physically active for 30 minutes a day at least five times a week could help to reduce the risk of bowel cancer, according to a poll of 2,000 UK adults commissioned by the charity.

Research shows that taking part in regular physical activity, which is 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity such as cycling or fast walking every week, can decrease your risk of bowel cancer by as much as 12 per cent.

We commissioned the poll to launch our latest fundraising challenge, Step up for 30, to encourage people to take up regular exercise and be more active to reduce their risk of bowel cancer. It’s really simple, just get sponsored to do 30 minutes of physical activity every day for 30 days in June. Every 30 minutes someone dies of bowel cancer in the UK.

BBC Sport presenter, Gabby Logan has committed to take part in the fundraising challenge, says: "I really love being active, especially the feeling after. That can be anything, from a yoga session to training in a gym, I try to mix it up to keep it interesting! I'm supporting Bowel Cancer UK and Beating Bowel Cancer's Step up for 30 challenge as it's a fantastic way to encourage people to be more physically active and to help to reduce their risk of bowel cancer.”

Professor Annie S Anderson, Professor of Public Health Nutrition, Centre for Public Health Nutrition Research, says: “Bowel cancer is one of the most preventable types of cancer. A healthy high fibre, low meat diet and managing body weight are some of the most important ways to reduce your risk of the disease. Being physically active is also very important and reducing the time you spend sitting down. Being as active as possible throughout the day can help to reduce your bowel cancer risk as well as many other cancers and diseases.”

Luke Squires, Director of Fundraising at Bowel Cancer UK and Beating Bowel Cancer, says: “Physical activity doesn’t just have to be about working out in a gym. You could walk, swim, dance, run, cycle, do yoga – the choice is up to you. If you’re new to regular physical activity you can still take part and get active by taking the stairs rather than the lift, doing housework, walking the dog, or getting off the bus a stop early – it’s that easy to get involved.
“Last year hundreds of amazing people up and down the country took part in the fundraising challenge, some were in the midst of bowel cancer treatment, others in memory of someone who has had the disease and those who wished to show their support for family or friends.
“Whilst you’re getting fitter and feeling healthier, you’ll be raising money to fund the highest quality research and essential information and support services that will save lives from bowel cancer.”