Beyond recreational physical activity: examining occupational and household activity, transportation activity, and sedentary behavior in relation to postmenopausal breast cancer risk

Am J Public Health. 2010 Nov;100(11):2288-95. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2009.180828. Epub 2010 Sep 23.


Objectives: We prospectively examined nonrecreational physical activity and sedentary behavior in relation to breast cancer risk among 97 039 postmenopausal women in the National Institutes of Health-AARP Diet and Health Study.

Methods: We identified 2866 invasive and 570 in situ breast cancer cases recorded between 1996 and 2003 and used Cox proportional hazards regression to estimate multivariate relative risks (RRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs).

Results: Routine activity during the day at work or at home that included heavy lifting or carrying versus mostly sitting was associated with reduced risk of invasive breast cancer (RR = 0.62; 95% CI = 0.42, 0.91; P(trend) = .024).

Conclusions: Routine activity during the day at work or home may be related to reduced invasive breast cancer risk. Domains outside of recreation time may be attractive targets for increasing physical activity and reducing sedentary behavior among postmenopausal women.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Breast Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Breast Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Exercise
  • Family Characteristics
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Activity*
  • Postmenopause
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Recreation
  • Risk
  • Risk Factors
  • Sedentary Behavior*
  • Time Factors
  • Transportation / statistics & numerical data
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Workplace / statistics & numerical data