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Brits keep fit to look good, not reduce cancer risk

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by Cancer Research UK | News

3 July 2007

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UK men and women say reducing their risk of cancer is last on a list of reasons to exercise, according to a national survey* by Cancer Research UK and Cannons.

After keeping fit, the main motivation for 16-24 year olds to exercise is to look good. 59 per cent of women said they wanted to lose weight. And only 39 per cent of people wanted to reduce their risk of cancer.

Surprisingly, 16 per cent of women were not motivated by either health or vanity, and worryingly admitted to not taking any exercise at all.

The good news is that some messages about the benefits of activity and maintaining a healthy heart are getting through to people. 59 per cent of people cited reducing their risk of heart disease as a reason for taking part in sport or exercising.

The survey results were released today to launch a new partnership between Cancer Research UK and Cannons health and fitness clubs. TV presenter Jayne Middlemiss has lent her support by leading a unique exercise class – the Tour de Cannons spinning challenge. The hour-long class will see members and non-members of Cannons take part in a virtual Tour de France and experience the thrills of the real thing, whilst raising money for Cancer Research UK’s life-saving work.

Jayne Middlemiss said: “People exercise for lots of different reasons but hopefully the partnership between Cancer Research UK and Cannons will highlight that we should all be thinking about reducing our risk of cancer by trying to maintain a healthy body weight. I always try to eat a healthy, balanced diet and exercise regularly.

“I loved the Tour de Cannons class. It was great fun for a good cause and I got to work up a bit of a sweat at the same time.”

Louise Bishop, Cancer Research UK’s Reduce the Risk Campaign manager, said: “It’s believed that half of all cancers could be prevented by changes to lifestyle – in the UK this is around 135,000 cases a year. Our partnership with Cannons is important for raising awareness of what people can do to reduce their risk of cancer and encourage them to make positive changes in their lifestyle.”

Tour de Cannons will take place throughout July 2007 at Cannons health and fitness clubs across the country. All riders are encouraged to wear a tour ‘yellow jersey’ during the class and all are entered into a prize draw to win £200 worth of clothing vouchers. To find out more information or book a place please visit

Cancer Research UK is Cannons’ charity of the year. A bespoke Cannons Cancer Research UK membership package will be available. Customers pay £2 a month on top of their membership, matched by Cannons, and all proceeds go directly towards the charity’s important research. For more information about the partnership or reducing your risk of cancer please visit or


For media information on Cancer Research UK, please contact the Cancer Research UK press office on 0207 061 8315 or email [email protected].

* Survey by BMRB Omnibus on 3 June 2007, conducted over the telephone amongst 1000 adults aged 16+. Results were weighted in order to make them nationally representative.