Watching TV 20 Hours Per Week Lowers Sperm Count

First Posted: Feb 05, 2013 12:32 PM EST

New studies are suggesting that sitting in front of the boob tube could make a negative mark on your sperm count.

Men who watch television for approximately 20 hours per week or more have almost half the sperm count as those who watch very little television or none at all, according to a new study.

U.S. researchers recruited 189 young men between the ages of 18 and 22, questioning them about their exercise, diet and television habits and asked them to provide a sperm sample.

Men who watched 20 or more hours of television a week had a 44 percent lower sperm count than those who watched less, or almost no TV at all.

Exercise also played a large role, according to the study, published online in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Men who exercised for 15 or more hours weekly at a "moderate to vigorous" rate had a 73-percent higher sperm count than those who exercised less than five hours per week.

However, the study reports that none of the sperm levels were so low that any of the men would be unable to father children.

Yet, scientists are suggesting that sedentary lifestyles may be causing an affect of semen concentrations that warm the scrotum and increase levels of oxidative stress, in which rogue oxygen compounds degrade cells.

"We were able to examine a range of physical activity that is more relevant to men in the general population," study co-author Jorge Charravo, assistant professor of nutrition and epidemiology at Harvard School of Public Health in Boston according to the AFP.

However, researchers suggest that while regular exercise can improve testicular health, doing too much can also be harmful to sperm production. It's a delicate balance, indeed. 

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