It appears that vigorous activity can reduce the risk of the disease, which has been associated with type 2 diabetes, colon cancer, coronary artery disease and breast cancer.
Researchers go on to say:
"Our results suggest that participation in at least 20.9 MET (metabolic equivalent task)-hours per week of vigorous exercise, the equivalent of 105 minutes of running or 180 minutes of swimming or playing tennis, is associated with a 25 percent to 30 percent reduced risk of psoriasis compared with not participating in any vigorous exercise."
Hillary C. Frankel, A.B., of Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, and her colleagues used data from the Nurses' Health Study II. They looked at questionnaires of nearly 90,000 women completed in 1991, 1997 and 2001. The found just over 1,000 cases of Psoriasis, and went on to look at the link between physical activity and the occurrence of the disease. Those women who were physically active had a lower multivariate relative risk of psoriasis (0.72) compared with the least active. Walking was not associated with a reduced risk, it appears the exercise must be vigorous.
The authors comment: "Among the individual vigorous activities we evaluated, only running and performing aerobic exercise or calisthenics were associated with a reduced risk of psoriasis. Other vigorous activities, including jogging, playing tennis, swimming and bicycling were not associated with psoriasis risk ... The highly variable intensity at which these activities are performed may account for this finding."
They go onto note that the possibility of reduced psoriasis risk through physical activity, is one that merits further research, and they conclude:
"In addition to providing other health benefits, participation in vigorous exercise may represent a new preventive measure for women at high risk of developing psoriasis. Additional corroborative studies and further investigations into the mechanisms by which physical activity protects against new-onset psoriasis are needed."