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Health & Medicine Sperm Count Affected by Level of Physical Activity

Sperm Count Affected by Level of Physical Activity

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First Posted: Feb 05, 2013 07:35 AM EST
Stress Lowers Quality of Sperm and Fertility
Stress Lowers Quality of Sperm and Fertility (Photo : Reuters)

A recent study suggests that men who watch television for more than 20 hours weekly have a lesser sperm count when compared to those who exercise and remain active.

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According to researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPS), the quality of men's sperm is affected by their levels of physical activity. The study demonstrates how healthy men who do not engage in physical activity and remain sedentary have lower sperm counts when compared to the physically active men.

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

In order to prove the hypothesis, researchers conducted a study on 189 men who belonged to the age group of 18 to 22. These men had participated in the Rochester Young Men's Study during 2009 at the University of Rochester. The researchers enquired about their physical activity and TV-viewing habits. Apart from this, they also kept a track of other related health issues that might affect their sperm count such as smoking, diet and stress levels.

Their sperm samples were taken for lab analysis, reports BBC.

On analysing the samples, they noticed that those who engaged in watching TV for more than 20 hours a week had almost 44 percent lower sperm count than those who spent little time watching TV.

Those men who engaged in physical activity and exercised for 15 or more hours weekly had a 73 percent higher sperm count than those who exercised less than 5 hours per week.

The sperm quality didn't alter with mild exercise.

Dr. Allan Pacey, senior lecturer in andrology at the University of Sheffield was quoted in BBC stating, whether it is working out in the gym or watching TV, everything needs to be done in moderation.

The study was published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

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