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Choose to MOVE

Afrikaanse Media Vrystelling

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26 March 2019 – CANSA is urging all to choose to move, as part of its 365 Day Health Challenge initiated on World Cancer Day, furthering personal commitment to the #IAmAndIWill lower my cancer risk theme. Research indicates that regular physical activity in combination with smart food and drink choices can help lower the risk for cancer and non-communicable diseases, such as heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

Elize Joubert, CANSA CEO says, “It’s of great concern that research done in South Africa over the past 15 years indicates high levels of physical inactivity across the lifespan. A recent study found that only 57% of children aged 8-14 years were moderately active while 31% did not meet the recommendation of moderate to vigorous physical activity. Physical activity levels tend to decrease with age, and this has been shown in other studies with adolescent and young adults, as well as older adults in South Africa. Even more concerning is the fact that physical inactivity has been associated with colon and breast cancers. In fact, physical inactivity is the fourth leading cause of death worldwide.”

CANSA encourages the public to associate physical activity with the green “Walk” traffic light for pedestrians reminding us to keep moving. Physical inactivity has a role to play in weight management and may indirectly lead to obesity related cancers (which make up 40% of all cancers diagnosed). Inactivity and obesity also contribute to increasing health care costs. Also, being physically active has been shown to lower risk for colorectal, breast and endometrial cancers. Childhood obesity is associated with a higher chance of obesity, premature death and disability in adulthood, so parents / guardians should take responsibility to ensure that children are physically active and are making smart choices with regards to food and drink.”


The aim is to try and incorporate physical movement which can be sport-related and wellness activities into daily routines. And for cancer Survivors, being active can help manage the side-effects of treatment such as fatigue, depression and heart damage.

“Please support CANSA’s awareness and sports events by taking part in our CANSA Active programme to raise awareness about leading a balanced lifestyle, playing sport safely in the sun, as well as providing education on being cancer-aware by encouraging smart diet and lifestyle choices. Workplaces and corporates can participate in the Fit4Good Planet Fitness Cancer Challenge and enter teams to run or cycle,” added Joubert.


  • Make the decision to get moving every day.
  • Check with a registered healthcare practitioner before starting, especially if you’ve had a long period of physical inactivity or if you have an existing medical condition.
  • Choose movement you enjoy and that gets your heart rate up.
  • Choose a practical time to exercise daily, that fits in with your daily routine.
  • Be on the lookout for opportunities for movement in your everyday life, like choosing to climb the stairs instead of taking the escalator or lift, or walking instead of driving, carrying your groceries instead of using a trolley, getting up and stretching regularly if you sit at a desk all day, doing your own gardening or house work, etc.
  • Decide on the length of time and type of physical activity that matches your current fitness level, and gradually increase the duration and intensity of physical activity. Work your way slowly from mild, to moderate* and then vigorous* exercise (if you’re enjoying it and feeling strong). Your end goal should be 30 minutes of moderate* activity five times per week (adults) or 60 minutes moderate* to vigorous* activity daily (children / teens).
  • If you find it difficult to be motivated to exercise on your own, ask friends, community members or colleagues to join you. Or join community events or clubs which involve physical activity, such as your local parkrun, Run Walk for Life, hiking, bowling, or dance club, etc
  • Find ways to make physical activity a way of life for your family and a time to bond.

* Examples of moderate activity include: brisk walking; slow cycling and gardening, while examples of vigorous activity include fast running or cycling; competitive sports, etc

Find more information on living a balanced lifestyle on the CANSA website.

#IAmAndIWill #ChooseToMove #LowerCancerRisk #CANSAactive

For more information, please contact Lucy Balona, Head: Marketing and Communication at CANSA at email Call 011 616 7662 or mobile 082 459 5230.

CANSA offers a unique integrated service to the public and to all people affected by cancer. CANSA is a leading role-player in cancer research and the scientific findings and knowledge gained from our research are used to realign our health programmes, as well as strengthen our watchdog role to the greater benefit of the public. Our health programmes comprise health and education campaigns; CANSA Care Centres that offer a wide range of care and support services to those affected by cancer; stoma and other clinical support; medical equipment hire, as well as a toll-free line to offer information and support. We offer a Tele Counselling service in seven languages free of charge. We also supply patient care and support in the form of 8 CANSA Care Homes in the main metropolitan areas for out-of-town cancer patients and CANSA-TLC lodging for parents and guardians of children undergoing cancer treatment.

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 071 867 3530 Xhosa, Zulu, Sotho and Siswati


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