Too Much TV Lowers Sperm Count By 44 Percent, Harvard Study Says

sperm cell and egg
sperm cell and egg

A few years ago, we learned that too much TV might kill you sooner. Now, a new Harvard study is telling us excessive TV-watching could slash men's sperm count, too.

The Harvard School of Public Health's sperm study, published this week in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, determined that guys glued to the tube more than 20 hours per week had 44 percent less sperm than those who watched no TV.

Workout enthusiasts might be pleased with the findings, as well. Those logging 15 or more hours of weekly exercise seemed to turbocharge their sperm production to nearly 75 higher than those who exercised less than five hours.

It should be noted, however, that the survey sample is relatively small: 189 healthy men between the ages of 18 and 22 who live in Rochester, N.Y. These participants told researchers about their TV, tobacco, eating and exercise habits, and handed over samples of their semen for analysis between 2009 and 2010.

Researchers cautioned that they arrived only at an association between sedentary lifestyle and lower sperm counts. The study's lead author, Audrey Gaskins, said the data had helped them identify "two potentially modifiable factors" that might lead to the improvement of sperm count, which she called "truly exciting," according to the Los Angeles Times. Urologist Dr. Andrew Kramer, who was not part of the survey, told My Health News Daily that the conclusions seem reasonable but future studies are required.

Past studies seem to point to similar trends observed in the new Harvard study.

A Harvard School of Public Health study, published in March of last year, suggested that overweight men were "more likely" to generate less sperm, and that diminished sperm count could make conception difficult.

Furthermore, the Independent notes that the new research seems to jibe with with a study of 26,000 men that showed sperm counts plummeting 33 percent among men in the industrial world between 1989 and 2009.

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