Effects of Sedentary Lifestyle on Male Fertility

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This article is about the various effects of sedentary lifestyle on male fertility. Male infertility is on the increase, especially, in the developed western nations where sedentary lifestyle is the order of the day. Why?

This article is about the various effects of sedentary lifestyle on male fertility. Male infertility is on the increase, especially, in the developed western nations where sedentary lifestyle is the order of the day. This is a worrying trend and everyone is seeking for answers for this trend and problem. According to the Fertility Lifeline, male infertility is mainly due to sperm disorders. There are many factors that play a role to determine whether or not a sperm will fertilize an ovum. Some of these factors include sperm count, concentration, motility, shape, forward progression and the volume of semen that man produces. A deficiency of any of these factors is likely to cause male infertility as it affect the probability of fertilization.

Though not known to a great extent, research has shown that lifestyles people are exposed to have influences on spermatogenesis process in men especially sedentary lifestyle. It is worthy noting that if sperm count is reduced by any environmental factor, it may have detrimental and far reaching effects in terms of the ability of the man to fertilize a woman during a sexual intercourse. The woman may be fertilize and just experienced ovulation yet the fertilization process may not be successful. Such a man may be ejaculating but the sperms are unable to fertilize, synonymous to “shooting blank bullets.” This is an obvious effect of sedentary lifestyle on male fertility. But how does it happen is the question to ponder about.

One fact, contributing to male infertility is sedentary lifestyle where most people do jobs which are less involving physically and remain in the same stationary position. One such impact that arises from the sedentary lifestyle is scrotal heating and this is an effect of sedentary lifestyle on male fertility. The effect could be looked from the fact that if a when a baby boy is born, there is testicular descent in the scrotum. If the descent fails until puberty or even beyond, there may be no spermatogenesis occupying. What is the exact explanation to this? According to Sharpe, 2010, p. 1703, for or normal spermatogenesis to occur the temperature of the testicles must the at least 2-4?C lower than that that of the core body. From this fact, it becomes obvious true according to, Gook-Sup 2009 p.40, that any activity that will raise this temperature will affect spermatogenesis process, its maturation and storage. Such effects of sedentary lifestyle on male fertility are obvious a valid reason for increasing trend in male infertility.

The reasoning is behind scrotal heating could be reduced air circulation is reduced around the scrotal are for those who are in sedentary lifestyle. This is made worse for those having tight pants and trousers as well as long distant drivers and those who use laptops on their thighs. Bujan et al. (2000) reported that the scrotal temperatures of drivers reaches 36.2?C - 36.4?C (an increased by 1.7?C-2.2?C) after two hours of driving, cited in Gook-Sup 20091p.40. This could be support what Hjollund et al notes that in studies of men in whom scrotal temperature was measured continuously in relation to position and activity, scrotal temperature increased progressively with duration of sedentation, and this was associated with lower sperm counts (cited Sharpe, 2010, p. 1702). The scrotal heating results in reduced sperm concentration as a result spermatogenesis impairment and this will consequently lead to a reduced sertoli cell as Auger et al, 1995, p.2 notes. It is not only sperm count that is affected; there are also evidences that sperm quality is affected too. These two facts lead to male infertility and definitely effects of sedentary lifestyle on male fertility.

These factors have lead to the conclusion that the activity and occupation of most men in the western countries is one of the explanation of the increased male infertility in the Western developed nations, Sharpe, 2010, p. 1703. It can further be deduced that these men who lead sedentary lifestyle affect their spermatogenesis process as well as sperm count due to the fact that the spend long hours in sedentary positions. This concept has also been applicable to heating contraceptive method of family planning as support further these facts.

These are some of the effect of sedentary lifestyle on male fertility that everyone should be aware of so that they could avoid. There are quite a number of ways to reduce this if you are in sedentary lifestyle like walking around, not wearing tight pants and many more. It is therefore good practice that men who are in sedentary lifestyle or position to be aware of this. This small lifestyle changes could have a huge impact on sperm count, though there might be many other factors that would affect scrotal heating.


Ramlau-Hansen1 C.H, et al 2006.’Is Smoking a Risk Factor for Decreased Semen Quality? A Cross-Sectional Analysis’ Human Reproduction Vol.22, No.1 pp. 188–196, 2007 doi:10.1093/humrep/del364 Advance Access publication September 11,

Sharpe, R. M. 2010, ‘Environmental/lifestyle effects on spermatogenesis’ Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B 2010 365, 1697-1712 doi: 10.1098/rstb.2009.0206 This journal is © 2010 The Royal Society


Hammoud, A. O, Et al, 2006, ‘Obesity and Male Reproductive Potential’ Journal of Andrology, The American Society of Andrology Society publication.

Gook-Sup. S, 2009 ‘Could Sperm Quality Be Affected By Indoor Environment’ 1st International Conference on Sustainable Healthy Buildings, Seoul, Korea.