Background: Semen quality appears to have declined over the past decades but reasons for this decline are unresolved. The concurrent increase in sedentary behaviour may be a contributing factor. The objective of this study was to evaluate the relationship of physical activity and television (TV) watching with sperm parameters in a population of young, healthy men.
Methods: Men aged 18-22 years (n=189) from the Rochester Young Men's Study (2009-2010) participated in this analysis. Physical activity (h/week of moderate and vigorous exercise) and TV watching (h/week of TV, video or DVD watching) over the past 3 months were assessed via questionnaire. Semen quality was assessed by sperm concentration, motility, morphology and total sperm count.
Results: Sperm concentration and total sperm count were directly related to physical activity after multivariable adjustment (p-trend=0.01 and 0.04); men in the highest quartile of moderate-to-vigorous activity (≥15 h/week) had 73% (95% CI 15% to 160%) higher sperm concentration than men in the lowest quartile (<5 h/week). TV watching was inversely associated with sperm concentration and total sperm count in multivariable analyses (p-trend=0.05 and 0.06); men in the highest quartile of TV watching (>20 h/week) had 44% (95% CI 15 to 63%) lower sperm concentration than men in the lowest quartile (0 h/week). These measures of physical and leisure time activities were not significantly associated with sperm motility or morphology.
Conclusions: In this population of healthy men, higher moderate-to-vigorous activity and less TV watching were significantly associated with higher total sperm count and sperm concentration.
Keywords: Epidemiology; Urology.
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