Sitting for six or more hours a day can double the risk of fibroids, warns new research.
Fibroids are non-cancerous growths that develop in or around the womb and often go unnoticed due to a lack of symptoms.
The risk of these benign, but potentially large and painful, womb growths seems to rise along with the amount of time spent sitting or lying down during the day, the findings suggest.
Sitting can also lead to other tumors that rely on estrogen such as endometrial, ovarian, and breast cancers.
To get their results, published in the journal BMJ Open, researchers from Kunming Medical University in China collected background information on 6,623 women aged 30 to 55 from a pool of 99,556 participants.
This included menstrual/reproductive history, number of children and age at first birth, contraceptive use, sedentary leisure time, physical activity, diet, height and weight.
Sedentary leisure includes playing board games, screen time, reading, knitting and other similar activities.
In all, 562 (8.5 percent) of the women had uterine fibroids, the prevalence of which increased with age.
Weight, number of live births, menstrual status, time since last live birth, physical activity and seated leisure time were all associated with uterine fibroids.
The more time spent on seated leisure the greater the risk was, with women who spent six or more hours a day doing seated leisure having a risk twice that of women who clocked up fewer than two.
This risk was also five times higher in premenopausal women.
The researchers suspect that this link may be caused by obesity in those who sit more, which is a risk factor for fibroids.
Dr. Qiong Meng said: “Uterine fibroids are the most common benign tumors in women of childbearing age, varying in prevalence from 4.5 percent to 69 percent.
“These growths may not produce any symptoms, but they may also be associated with abnormal bleeding, pelvic and abdominal pain, and infertility, among other things.
“This cross-sectional study, based on the natural population, showed that sedentary leisure time has a linear positive correlation with uterine fibroids, indicating that it may be an independent risk factor.”
Produced in association with SWNS Talker
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