Semen quality and sedentary work position

Int J Androl. 2004 Feb;27(1):5-11. doi: 10.1046/j.0105-6263.2003.00428.x.


Increased scrotal temperature can, in experimental settings, markedly disturb the production of semen. Sedentary work position may increase the temperature of the scrotum, but previous studies have failed to determine whether changes in scrotal temperature caused by sedentary work actually do affect semen quality. This study was carried out to elucidate the possible harmful effects of sedentary work on sperm count and other semen characteristics. In 1981-1983 a semen sample was obtained from 3119 men who attended an infertility workup in one of four Danish fertility centres. A total of 2517 men returned a postal questionnaire with information on life style, leisure time activities, occupational history and job duties. Information on job specific work position was obtained from The Danish Work Environment Cohort study 1990 (DWECS). In this analysis DWECS data for a total of 1747 men was included from men aged 18-39 years with >30 h of work per week. For all job titles represented in the DWECS, the mean proportion of sedentary work was estimated. The sperm cell concentration was 30.6 million/mL among men in the quintile with lowest job specific sedentary work compared with 40.5 million/mL in the highest quintile. The difference was, however, not statistically significant. Stratification on infertility period, educational level of the man, fertility centre, and fertility-related disease of the spouse did not influence the results. The analyses do not suggest that sedentary work is a risk factor for abnormal semen characteristics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Denmark
  • Humans
  • Infertility, Male / etiology*
  • Leisure Activities
  • Life Style
  • Male
  • Occupations
  • Posture*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Semen / cytology
  • Semen / physiology*
  • Skin Temperature*
  • Sperm Count*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Work