TV viewing, exercise habits may significantly affect sperm count

February 4, 2013

Men's sperm quality may be significantly affected by their levels of physical activity, according to a new study led by researchers at Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH). They found that healthy young men who were sedentary, as measured by hours of TV viewing, had lower sperm counts than those who were the most physically active.

"We know very little about how lifestyle may impact semen quality and in general so identifying two potentially modifiable factors that appear to have such a big impact on sperm counts is truly exciting," said lead author Audrey Gaskins, a doctoral student at HSPH.

The study will be published online February 4, 2013 in the .

Gaskins and her colleagues analyzed the semen quality of 189 men between the ages of 18 to 22 participating in the Rochester Young Men's Study during 2009 at the University of Rochester. The men were asked about their physical activity and TV-watching habits, in addition to health issues that may affect their , such as diet, stress levels, and smoking.

Results showed that men who watched more than 20 hours of TV weekly had a 44% lower sperm count than those who watched almost no TV. Men who exercised for 15 or more hours weekly at a moderate to vigorous rate had a 73% higher sperm count than those who exercised less than 5 hours per week. did not affect sperm quality.

"The majority of the previous studies on physical activity and semen quality had focused on professional and cyclists, who reach physical activity levels that most people in the world cannot match. We were able to examine a range of physical activity that is more relevant to men in the general population," said Jorge Chavarro, senior author of the study and assistant professor of nutrition and epidemiology at HSPH.

Explore further: Male painters exposed to fertility damaging chemicals

More information: Physical activity and television watching in relation to semen quality in young men, Online First, doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2012-091644

Related Stories

Male painters exposed to fertility damaging chemicals

May 23, 2008

Men working as painters and decorators who are exposed to glycol ethers are more likely to have poor semen quality, according to research carried out by scientists from the Universities of Sheffield and Manchester.

Better nutrition makes for better sperm

October 18, 2011

(Medical Xpress) -- A pair of studies presented today at the 67th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) show a link between dietary patterns and semen parameters in men: in short, better ...

Men with deep voice may be lacking in sperm: study

January 9, 2012

(Medical Xpress) -- Women look for tall, dark and handsome. Those chiseled features and that deep sexy voice have gained the attention of women for generations. However, a new study published in PLoS ONE shows that those ...

Fatty diets may be associated with reduced semen quality

March 13, 2012

Men's diets, in particular the amount and type of different fats they eat, could be associated with their semen quality according to the results of a study published online in Europe's leading reproductive medicine journal ...

Men who do exercise produce better quality semen

October 31, 2012

A new study conducted by researchers at the University of Cordoba links moderate physical activity in males with better hormone levels and sperm characteristics that favour reproduction compared to sedentary men.

Recommended for you

Bacteria in smokeless tobacco products may be a health concern

August 26, 2016

Several species of bacteria found in smokeless tobacco products have been associated with opportunistic infections, according to a paper published August 26 in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, a journal of the American ...

Is tailgating toxic?

August 26, 2016

While tailgating this football season you may want to take a step back from the grill and generator—for your health.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.