Men: Is This Favorite Activity Destroying Your Performance?

A rear view of a man watching TVToo-tight underwear. Too much soda. Too much beer. Too much stress. Not enough sex. These are some of the more well-known low sperm count causes.


Yes, add it to the list. According to studies, healthy young men who watch TV for more than 20 hours a week have almost half the sperm count of men who watch very little television – in fact, their count was 44% lower than those who watched the least amounts of TV.

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Allan Pacey, PhD, British Fertility Society chairman and senior lecturer in andrology at the University of Sheffield, says the findings fit with what fertility experts already know.

“We know that men who wear too tight underwear have poorer sperm. So it’s not a million miles away from sitting on the sofa … for too long and heating up your testicles for too long. It’s the same mechanism I would suspect.”

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The researchers analyzed the semen quality of 189 American men, all from New York state, between the ages of 18 to 22 in 2009-10. The men were asked about the quantity and intensity of weekly exercise over the preceding three months and how much time they spent watching television, DVDs, or videos over the same period.

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They were also asked about factors that might affect sperm quality, including medical or reproductive health problems, diet, stress levels, and smoking.

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Unlike smoking or weight, the amount of TV viewing seemed to counteract the beneficial effects of exercise, although this may be a chance finding, the authors say.