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Less television and more exercise may increase men’s sperm concentration

The results of a recent Harvard study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, suggest that there is relationship between physical activity and men’s fertility. Specifically, Audrey Gaskins and her colleagues found that lower levels of exercise were associated with lower sperm counts, and concentration.

Researchers conducted an observational study of 189 men between the ages of 18 and 22 to determine the relationship between young men’s exercise and the amount of television they watched, and the quality of their semen. The men were asked to report how often they exercised each week, how intensely they exercised, and how much television they watched. In addition, participants underwent a physical examination, and semen samples were collected from each participant. The samples were analyzed for sperm shape, concentration, size, motility, and total sperm count. The researchers also looked at the men’s diet, weight, reproductive histories, and smoking habits.

Men who did moderate to vigorous exercise – 15 hours or more – on a weekly basis had a significantly higher sperm concentration than those who exercised less than 5 hours per week. In addition, the sperm concentration of men who watched more than 20 hours of television per week was almost half the sperm concentration of men who did not watch any television. There were no other significant differences in the men’s sperm based on their exercise routines or time they spent watching television.

Although the results of this study suggest that there is a relationship between exercise and sperm concentration, it is not clear how these findings are related to actual fertility. However, exercise has been shown to have numerous positive effects on overall health and well-being. So men who are interested in fathering a child now, or in the future, may benefit from incorporating regular physical activity into their lifestyles.

To read more about the relationship between exercise and men’s fertility, click here:

Too much TV could damage sperm production [CNN]

Read the study abstract here.

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