Too much television, it is known, is not good for children, but a latest research says it is not good for their father either. According to a study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, men who watch TV for more than 20 hours a week have almost half the sperm count of men who do not watch TV at all!
The research conducted at Harvard School of Public Health found that TV viewing cut the sperm count of men drastically.
Study author Dr. Jorge Chavarro, assistant professor of nutrition and epidemiology says,
“There had been a few reports linking very high levels of physical activity to higher sperm quality, but these studies had been linked to professional athletes and professional bicyclists who reached levels of physical activity higher than anyone else.”
The team however wanted to find how sperm quality was affected by physical activity of non-athletes.
The authors used data from the Rochester Young Men’s Study, which involved 189 men between the ages of 18 to 22 who were enrolled in 2009 and 2010. These men had been studied to know the affect of environmental contents on them and during the time, their diet and TV viewing habits was also noted.
On average these men had 14 hours of TV viewing in a week and eight hours of physical activity.
They found that men who had more than 15 hours of physical activity in a week automatically had better sperm count than men who had less than 4 hours of physical activity per week.
Men who watched more than 20 hours of TV a week had a 44 percent lower sperm count than men who watched the least amount of TV.
“I was surprised to see the strength of the association,” Chavarro said. “We expected an inverse relationship, but we didn’t know to what extent.”
The researcher points out that there have been previous studies that have looked into the relation between sperm quality and sitting in front of a computer all day or other sedentary work lifestyles, but no one has studied the affect of a leisure activity like watching TV on the quality of the sperms.
The lead author believes that the reason for low sperm count with high TV viewing is the high oxidative stress.
Many chemical reactions that occur in the body generate oxygen and these oxygen levels can damage cells such as sperm cells like spermatozoa, which develop into sperm.
“We know from other studies that physical activity is associated with lower oxidative stress and being sedentary is associated with high oxidative stress,” he said.
The scientist thus concludes that it is an increased physical activity that can actually help improve sperm quality and sperm count.
“More exercise is better for sperm production,” he concluded.
If you are planning a family, lesser time in front of the TV is definitely better.