Engaging in vigorous activity such as biking, tennis, jogging, or swimming for at least three hours per week may substantially improve prostate cancer (PCa)-specific survival, according to the results of an evaluation of 2,705 men in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study.

Study subjects, who had been diagnosed with nonmetastatic PCa, were observed from 1990 to 2008. Both nonvigorous and vigorous activity were associated with significantly lower overall mortality—for example, men who walked 90 minutes or more per week at a normal to very brisk pace—had a 46% lower risk of all-cause mortality compared with men who walked for shorter durations at an easy pace.

However, men who put in at least three hours per week of vigorous activity had a 49% lower risk of all-cause mortality and had a 61% lower risk of death from PCa than men who spent less than one hour per week in vigorous activity. Men who exercised vigorously before and after diagnosis exhibited the lowest risk.

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Researchers Stacey A. Kenfield, ScD, of the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, and colleagues reported their findings online ahead of print in Journal of Clinical Oncology.