Are you trying to conceive? You’re probably trying to figure out when your partner is ovulating, using folic acid, and staying away from alcohol and cigarettes. While you are doing all that you can to stay healthy and increase your chances of conceiving as soon as possible, you may also want to make sure your limiting your time in front of the box. Men who watch TV for 20 or more hours a week have lower sperm counts than more active men, a new study suggests!
A study team from Harvard looked at the sperm count of almost 200 college students, and found that engaging in physical activity for at least 15 hours a week does a man’s sperm a lot of good. Men who passively sit in front of the screen for 20 hours or more a week will find that their sperm count suffers, the study team who published their findings in the British Journal of Sports Medicine said. Motility and morphology were not affected by the amount of TV time a man had.
The study participants were all college students from a university in New York, aged between 18 and 22, who were asked to provide a semen sample for testing. They were asked questions about their lifestyle — concretely, how many hours they had been engaged in physical activities, and how many hours they spent watching television.
Those men (boys, actually?) who spent at least 15 hours being physically active played sports including basketball, football and baseball. Those who were most physically active had sperm counts that were an amazing 73 percent higher than the most sedentary of the participants. The men who spent at least 20 hours a week watching TV or DVDs had sperm counts that were 44 percent lower than those who spent less time in front of the box. It is important to note that their sperm counts did not drop low enough to be classified as sub-fertile.
What should this study tell you? A few things come to mind, for those who are trying to conceive:
- Everyone knows that regular physical activity boosts general health and thus fertility. Remember that sex can certainly count as a physical activity! You can get a great work out this way, if you are just a little creative! If you’re trying to conceive, you may even get pregnant.
- Excessive amounts of physical activity can actually harm a man’s sperm count. Professional athletes come to mind. This study shouldn’t trigger your man to start a boot-camp style work out regime, but he may want to consider hitting the gym a few times a week, or going jogging.
- Lots of other factors also influence a man’s sperm count — his overall health, quality of nutrition, and even wearing tight underwear or… watching DVDs with a laptop in his lap! (Because of the heat involved, not just the screen time!)
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