London: People who have decided to carry on with a desk job for the rest of their life may need to revisit their big decision -- a study suggests that spending ten years or more in a sedentary job almost doubles the risk of some types of bowel cancer.
Worse, researchers have found even workers who regularly keep fit or go to the gym are still twice as likely to get a tumour.
The findings, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, highlight the dangers of modern working patterns, where large numbers of employees are desk-bound for hours at a time, Daily Mail reports.
The research also supports earlier studies which showed men, who sit down most of the day at their jobs, are 30 percent more likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer than those with very active occupations.
More than 37,500 people a year in Britain are diagnosed with bowel cancer.
The latest study, by a team of experts at the University of Western Australia, show long periods of physical inactivity during the day could also be a major risk - even among those who do a lot of exercise in their free time.
The Australian researchers spoke to 918 bowel cancer victims and compared their working patterns with 1,021 cancer-free volunteers. They were quizzed on their job history, lifestyles and levels of physical activity.
The results showed employees who spent more than a decade in sedentary jobs were 94 percent more likely to suffer a tumour in an area of the bowel known as the distal colon.
Researchers also found sedentary working patterns increased the chances of cancer of the rectum by 44 percent over a ten-year period.
The researchers said their findings suggest no amount of leisure time activity can offset the harm done from long periods of sitting down on the job.
Bowel cancer symptoms include thin stools, stomach cramping, bright red blood on your poop, unexplained weight loss, fatigue, and feeling like you have to "go" when you don`t.