A new poll commissioned by Bowel Cancer UK reveals that two thirds of adults living in the West Midlands (66%) are not aware regular exercise could help to reduce the risk of bowel cancer – the UK’s second biggest cancer killer.

Every year more than 42,000 people are diagnosed with bowel cancer, which is the fourth most common cancer in the UK.  Research shows that taking part in regular physical activity - at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity such as cycling or fast walking every week - can lower your risk of bowel cancer by up to 50%. However, on average only six out of ten adults are reaching this target.

Today Bowel Cancer UK has published findings of its new poll of more than 4,000 UK adults to launch the charity’s latest fundraising challenge, Step up for 30, and is encouraging people from the West Midlands to take up regular exercise to reduce their risk of bowel cancer. It’s really simple, just get sponsored to be active every day in April, as part of Bowel Cancer Awareness Month.

Bowel Cancer UK’s newest patron and the host of BBC’s You, Me and the Big C podcast Deborah James (@Bowelbabe) is supporting Step up for 30. She says: “Being active is really important and helps me to recover from treatment more quickly, boosts my mood and I sleep better. It’s great for my mental health too. I’m a keen runner but if that isn’t for you then a brisk walk, an online yoga or dance class, or bike ride are brilliant ways to be more active.

As a Bowel Cancer UK patron, I’m proud to support this campaign and encourage everyone to sign up to the challenge.” Personal trainer to Hollywood stars like Matt Le Blanc, Fabrice Le Physique (@Fabricelephysique) is lending his support to the campaign: “Staying motivated for a whole month can be a real challenge, but having a goal can help you stay focused.

“Trying new ways of being active will keep it fun and interesting, like an online barre class, hoola-hooping or skipping in a local green space. I’ll be providing online workouts for mixed abilities throughout April for Step up for 30, which will help you stay motivated too.”