A Sedentary Lifestyle Can Reduce Sperm QualityMain Category: Fertility
Also Included In: Men's Health
Article Date: 05 Feb 2013
Over recent years, the overall quality of semen has declined, which is most likely due to the increase in sedentary lifestyles among young men, according to a recent study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.
The purpose of the study was to evaluate the relationship of physical activity with sperm count.
The authors wrote:
"The objective of this study was to evaluate the relationships between semen quality and both phys- ical activity and TV watching among young, healthy men. We hypothesised that increased phys- ical activity was associated with higher sperm count, concentration and motility, and a lower pro- portion of morphologically abnormal sperm. Furthermore, we hypothesised that increased TV watching time was associated with decreased semen quality parameters."
A total of 189 men participated in the study. They were asked to report the number of hours per week they spent exercising and watching TV, as well as provide a sample of their semen in order to analyze the quality.
The participants were also asked about any factors that could affect sperm quality, such as smoking, reproductive problems, diet and stress levels. The number of men with reproductive health problems was very low as well as the number of smokers - only 25% smoked.
The number of hours spent doing moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity varied from 5 to 14 hours. The amount of time spent watching TV ranged from only 4 hours up to 20. The men who were more physically active tended to also eat healthier diets than those who were more sedentary.
Young men who live sedentary lifestyles and watch over 20 hours of TV per week were found to have nearly half the sperm count of people who don't watch much TV. Men who watched more than 20 hours of TV had a sperm count 44% lower than men who watched the least.
On the other hand, men who did at least 15 hours of moderate exercise a week had very good quality sperm - their sperm count was found to be 73% higher than those who did little to no exercise. In fact, the results indicated that regardless of how frequent, light physical exercise didn't make any difference to the sperm count.
Physical activity improves sperm qualityThe authors note that a low sperm count does not necessarily affect a man's ability to have children. The study does, however, reveal that lots of physical activity may actually improve semen quality.
A previous study conducted by researchers at the University of Cordoba found a link between moderate physical activity and improved hormone levels and sperm characteristics that improve overall reproduction.
The authors concluded:
"Future studies should also evaluate the extent to which different exercise types affect semen quality as previous studies suggest that there might be opposing effects of different types of activity on semen characteristics."
Written by Joseph Nordqvist
Copyright: MediLexicon International Ltd
Original article posted on Medical News Today.
Articles not to be reproduced without permission of Medical News Today