Editorial

Can Watching Television Really Lower Sperm Count?

A recent survey carried out at the Harvard School of Public Health have indicated that male “couch potatoes” may be losing their mojo!

Researchers asked around 200 male students from a university in New York between the ages of 18 and 22 to take part and asked them to record how long they spent in some kind of physical activity and how long they spent watching TV on a week by week basis. The students were also asked to provide sperm samples for analysis. When the researchers looked into the information provided by the students they discovered that there was a link between low exercise and low sperm count.

It seemed that men who were quite active, clocking up 15 hours or more of moderate to vigorous exercise a week (for instance, playing football, baseball or basketball), had sperm counts 73% higher than their “couch potato” pals who basically sat around and rarely shifted their butts from their sofas.

Those students who spent at least 20 hours a week watching TV showed a sperm count 44% lower. However, it was emphasised that the lower sperm count volunteers weren’t likely to render themselves totally infertile.

But before all you raging bulls out there sign up to the local gym or head for the nearest baseball pitch, some health experts suggest that men who want to conceive need to be a bit careful what sport they choose as some sports can be harmful. For instance, it’s not recommended that you do too much bike riding or long distance running in tight clothing.

Similarly, you need to be careful what type of undies you wear! It’s recommended that you “let the winds blow free” and wear boxers rather than tighter underpants and if you’re overweight this may have a bearing too.

At the moment the researchers are unsure why sitting in front of a TV lowers sperm count but the main theory coming forward is that, by sitting on a nice comfy sofa, it may raise the temperature of a gent’s nether regions and sperm prefer cooler conditions – which is more likely to occur if you’re out and about exercising (provided of course you’re not wearing your tight Lycra sportswear!).

So, if you really want to conceive … don’t wear tight clothing, don’t get on your bike too often, don’t take up long distance running and lose some weight.

We’re often told that women get a raw deal when it comes to child birth – carrying all that extra weight around, morning sickness, and of course the inevitable pain at the end of it all – but whoever would have considered that males had to go to so much effort! So all you guys out there, you now have ample ammunition when your other half complains about her pregnancy and giving birth!

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