Sperm Stories, Part II

In Part I of Sperm Stories, we talked about how temperature—both cold and hot—affects sperm production, swimming speed, and quality. In this article, we’ll take a look at several recent studies explore non-temperature-related factors. Turn off the tube. Men who watch 20 hours or more of TV have half the sperm count of men who [...]

Want to Be a Dad? Turn off the Tube and Get Some Exercise

Men who exercise (moderately or vigorously) at least 15 hours per week have sperm counts that are 73% higher than those of men who get little or no exercise, according to researchers at Harvard’s School of Public Health. At the same time, men who watch 20 or more hours of television have sperm counts that are half of those of men who hardly watch TV.

This fits right in with the steady, worldwide decline in sperm quantity and quality. Another factor here could be that watching TV isn’t usually the most romantic of activities. Time spent in front of the TV is time you’re not going to be spending having sex. And there’s plenty of evidence that, contrary to popular belief, frequent sex increases sperm production and quality.

If you’re not already a regular exerciser, don’t go overboard. Injuring yourself could put you right back on the couch, where you’ll be stuck watching too much TV again. Plus, there’s some research that suggests that overexercising could also reduce sperm quality.

The study was just published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Your Lifespan. Not the Kind of Thing You Want to Talk about Sitting Down

watching tvTwo just-published studies have found that the more time you spend on your duff, the shorter and less-healthy your life will be. Even if you log plenty of hours at the gym.

[Read more...]

Kids need to lose weight? Let ‘em sleep on it.

Anytime the topic of childhood obesity (or adult obesity, for that matter) comes up, the top two solutions are always diet and exercise. But here’s the problem. Even though everyone knows about diet and exercise, they just don’t work. Despite the scare tactics about eating right and getting off the couch, there are three factors that are actually much more successful.

[Read more...]

Too Much of a Bad Thing Can Be Terrible

Dear Mr. Dad: My 11-year-old son sometimes watches the evening news with me and he seems genuinely disturbed by some of it. He keeps asking why all these bad things are happening. Frankly, my wife and I aren’t sure how to answer him or whether we should even allow him to keep watching at all. Is he too young to be exposed to TV news?

A: You certainly have a point. It does seem that with the exception of an occasional feel-good story, just about all the news on TV these days is alarming: wars, violence, natural disasters, foreclosures, and other events that most of us have no control over.
[Read more...]

Too Much Tube?

Dear Mr. Dad: My 18-month old son is suddenly obsessed with TV. He watches at least 3-4 hours per day. My wife doesn’t see the problem since it allows her to get stuff done around the house, but I’m worried. How much TV is too much?

A: Great question—one you have every right to be concerned about. Watching too much TV is a growing problem in our society—especially for children. Studies are all over the place, but they generally show that American children watch two to six hours of television per day. Plus they spend a few more in front of other screens, watching DVDs or playing video games.
[Read more...]