Too Much TV and Not Enough Exercise is Making Men Infertile—New Study

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Fertility specialist, Gabriela Rosa, says she is not surprised by the findings of the new Harvard University study concluding excessive television watching and not enough exercise can be blamed for declining sperm quality and male infertility.

According to a new Harvard University study excessive television watching and not enough exercise can be blamed for declining sperm quality and male infertility.

Fertility specialist, Gabriela Rosa, says she is not surprised and has been educating men on the impact of lifestyle factors and fertility for years.

“Lifestyle is the single biggest factor couples wanting a healthy baby can impact when having difficulty conceiving,” said Ms Rosa.

“Even Mother Nature can use a helping hand from good lifestyle habits when trying to have a baby and things are not quite going to plan,” she said.

“Many men unfortunately underestimate their role in creating a healthy pregnancy and thus a healthy baby.”

According to the Harvard University study published on 4th February 2013 in The British Journal of Sports Medicine higher physical activity and lower TV watching were associated with higher sperm count and concentration in healthy men.

Ms Rosa said the aforementioned study also took into consideration man’s diet and those who watched more TV had a strong adherence to a Western diet (characterised by high intakes of red and processed meat, dairy, refined grains, pizza, snacks, high energy drinks, mayonnaise and sweets).

“For the study’s participants, physical activity and TV watching did not go hand in hand and this is also what I see in my clinical practice.”

“It’s very common for men to indulge in unhealthy treats and alcohol whilst TV watching, two well documented causative factors of infertility in otherwise healthy men.”

“Clinically, over the years, I have observed that as a whole men who tend to be more physically fit, generally take better care of their diets and lifestyle.”

“The increased heat to the testicles resulting from hours of sitting and TV watching is another factor, which negatively impacts sperm parameters.”

“It is well accepted that any form of activity that increases scrotal temperature can markedly disturb sperm production.”

“Lack of physical activity has also been linked to increased oxidative stress and free radical activity, which is very much linked to male infertility.”

“In this particular study the more hours participants spent in front of the television the worse their sperm quality.”

“Based on this research, moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, corresponding to any exercise that made participants ‘somewhat to very winded or sweaty’ for at least 4 hours per week was positively related to sperm concentration.”

Ms Rosa said there are many lifestyle factors for which relatively minor changes are proven very effective at boosting sperm parameters and in some cases even reversing male infertility:

  •     Cut out junk food from your diet, trans fats found in hydrogenated oils and junk foods such as margarine, fried foods, takeaways, processed red meats, chips, biscuits, and cakes have been shown in previous studies to kill sperm and decrease their overall quality in men who regularly indulge in these foods. And this is where some simple new habits are required, since this behaviour is usually often highly associated with TV watching.
  •     Avoid hot baths, spas and saunas since increased testicular heat negatively impacts male fertility, these activities are best avoided.
  •     Prioritise physical activity in your week; exercise is a great way to ease physical, mental and oxidative stress—a minor lifestyle change which can improve moods, vitality, libido and physical fitness as well as fertility.
  •     If you spend a lot of time sitting whether at work or watching TV, be sure to get up every 1-2 hours and walk around for a few minutes this will help to decrease scrotal temperature and improve sperm production. Comfortably sitting on a cool ice-pack can also be helpful!

“Some TV watching can be absolutely fantastic for fun and recreation and therefore reduced stress levels. Balance is important.”

“Researchers found less than 14 hours of TV watching per week was not associated with sperm concentration problems.”

“The key to optimum male fertility is a balanced, clean and healthy lifestyle. There are many factors that can make a positive improvement to male fertility and a couples chances of creating a healthy baby.”

“When picking a physical activity it is important to be cautious about the fact that anything which increases pressure and heat to the testicles such as cycling may not be the best choice when a couple is trying to conceive.”

For more information about how to boost male and female fertility through easy and effective lifestyle modification visit and access the free teleclass recording “How The 11 Pillars Of Fertility Can Help Create Your Own Natural Fertility Breakthrough And Healthiest Possible Baby”.

About Gabriela Rosa

Gabriela Rosa is the founder and director of Natural Fertility & Health Solutions — an integrative medicine practice for Naturopathy, Weight Loss and Natural Fertility and Gabriela leads a team of scientifically grounded, patient-focused naturopaths whose missions are to empower individuals through better health and help bring healthy babies into the world.

Gabriela is a leading clinician, author and internationally recognised naturopath and fertility specialist. She is currently completing Master of Science in Medicine (Reproductive Health and Human Genetics) from Sydney University, and she holds a Bachelor of Health Science and is trained in numerous disciplines including naturopathy, nutrition, herbal medicine, counselling, mind-body and energy therapies.


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Gabriela Rosa
+61 411 167 261

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