Move more, sit less

Being active not only gives us the energy to get through our day but also works wonders for our mental and physical health and can reduce our risk of cancer.

How does movement help prevent cancer?

Being active can reduce your risk of cancers such as bowel, breast and endometrial cancers.

Moving more and sitting less:

  • reduces insulin and insulin-like growth factors that can cause cancer cells to grow.
  • moves waste and cancer-causing toxins out of the body faster.
  • strengthens the immune system to help prevent cancer cells from growing.
  • lowers blood oestrogen levels which is important for reducing risk of breast cancer.

Movement can leave you feeling energised and doesn’t need to be complicated. It's possible to add enjoyable and convenient activity into your day.

How active should I be?

Doing any exercise is better than doing none. Start small and gradually build up to the recommended amount (see below).

The recommended amount of exercise for adults each week is:

  • At least 2.5 hours of moderate-intensity physical activity – such as a brisk walk, golf, mowing the lawn or swimming.


  • 1.25 to 2.5 hours of vigorous-intensity physical activity – such as jogging, aerobics, fast cycling, soccer or netball.

For maximum cancer prevention benefits, adults should be active most and preferably all days. Aim for 60 minutes of moderate activity or 30 minutes of vigorous activity every day.

Move more with blue upwards arrow and icon of a walking person

Why is it important to move more?


Moving more can reduce your risk of cancer

Being active and reducing the amount of time each day that you spend not moving, (for example sitting, watching tv, driving), can reduce your risk of cancers such as bowel, breast and endometrial cancers. 

bathroom scales

Helps prevent excess weight gain

Being physically active helps avoid excess weight gain. High body weight is a risk factor for 13 different of cancer including cancer of the bowel, kidney, pancreas, oesophagus, endometrium, liver and breast (after menopause).


Being sedentary can increase your risk of cancer

There is convincing evidence that walking can protect against excess weight gain and there is strong evidence that being sedentary (sitting down and not moving) is a cause of weight gain. Avoiding excess weight gain can reduce your risk of 13 different types of cancer. Walk more, sit less.

Small changes make a big difference

Here are our top tips to move more and sit less:




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© Cancer Council NSW 2024 Head Office Address: 153 Dowling Street, Woolloomooloo NSW 2011. Cancer Council NSW is registered with the Australian Taxation Office as an Income Tax Exempt Charity: Charitable Fundraising Authority No. 18521.

Some images on this site have been supplied by Cancer Council Western Australia's Crunch & Sip website

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