Men who do little exercise and spend much of their spare time watching TV have lower sperm counts than more active men, a study suggests. To be honest, this does not surprise me, given that last year a study found exercise could help their sperm to swim faster.
Clocking up 20 hours a week of TV time appears to be detrimental, the US authors from Harvard say in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. Yet 15 hours or more of exercise a week boosts semen quality, according to the results in nearly 200 college students. The researchers said more studies were needed to explore the possible causes.
In the latest study, the researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health asked 189 young men who were students at a university in New York to record how many hours they had been spending doing physical activity and watching TV in a typical week.
The volunteers, all aged between 18 and 22, were also asked to provide a sperm sample for lab analysis. When the researchers compared the survey findings with the sperm test results they found the link between sedentary lifestyle and low sperm count.
Men who were the most physically active, doing 15 hours or more of moderate to vigorous exercise each week by playing football, baseball or basketball for example, had sperm counts which were 73% higher than those who were least physically active.
Those who spent lots of time watching TV or DVDs – at least 20 hours a week – had a sperm count that was 44% lower than men who spent little time in front of the box.
None of the men had sperm counts so low that doctors would classify them as sub-fertile.
Last year’s research suggested men who are hoping to have children in the future would do well to get to the gym, after the study found exercise could help their sperm to swim faster. Researchers found men who worked out more had faster swimming sperm that was better formed, compared to their sedentary peers. They suggest that exercise promotes healthy hormone levels that create a better environment in the testes for sperm production.
Talking of exercise…
2013 Miles In 2013 – Please Sponsor Me
So after completing a year without all alcohol in 2012 for Cancer Research UK and the Cystic Fibrosis Trust I am now attempting to complete 2013 self powered miles by the end of 2013.
I am doing this challenge in aid of the Cystic Fibrosis Trust as I have been surprised since I started fundraising for the CF Trust just how many people are unaware of this disease and so I hope my efforts will not just raise money, but also awareness of the UK’s most most common life-threatening inherited disease.
The first person to commit to sponsoring my 2013 mile challenge has committed to 1p per mile (£20.13 in total) and this got me thinking. I am hoping that as many as possible of those reading this will commit to do the same and the best thing is, if each person does this on a “pay as you go” type approach all you will need to part with is approx £2 just after each pay day. In January I completed 205.9 miles, so if you can please spare £2.06 to help the Cystic Fibrosis Trust it will be greatly appreciated.
The easiest way to give your sponsorship is to visit my Just Giving page: http://www.justgiving.com/2012-AYearWithoutBeer-CF.
2013 Miles in 2013 – The rules
The rules for my 2013 miles in 2013 challenge are quite simple:
- All miles must be completely self powered (no motors, sails, etc)
- I must be able to evidence all miles, either via GPS or with a picture of any static gym equipment
To complete my 2013 miles I will be running, cycling, rowing and who knows, I might even try a few other self powered methods along the way.