Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis


Biomedical Science

First Advisor

Angela Murphy


This review evaluates the current understanding of research on the impact of physical activity in the prevention of colorectal cancer. Current biological mechanisms implicated in physical activity and colorectal cancer risk reduction are blood glucose regulation, insulin sensitivity, leptin and adiponectin profiles, inflammation as well as secreted protein acidic and rich in cysteine (SPARC), an exercise induced myokine. Recent literature indicates that 30-60 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity a day is effective against colorectal cancer development, and there is convincing evidence of aerobic exercise as differently beneficial in recruiting mechanisms identified as preventative against colorectal cancer. This article provides a critical review of the evidence-based literature concerning the benefits of physical activity in reducing the risk for colorectal cancer. Further well designed animal and clinical trials testing differing exercise protocols are recommended for future research to enable better understanding of the currently implicated mechanisms in colorectal cancer development.


© 2013, Sarah Ashley Barnes