Does Sitting for Too Long Affect Sperm Quality?
Sitting for extended periods can indeed impact male fertility. This typically occurs when a man sits for several hours without engaging in physical activity.
If you or your partner have a habit of sitting for prolonged periods, it’s essential to be cautious. Besides being uncomfortable, sitting for too long can also affect your health.
Typically, prolonged sitting occurs among individuals who work in front of a computer for hours on end. This situation can be exacerbated if long hours are spent in private or public transportation.
This habit can impact your overall health, especially if you have an unhealthy diet and a sedentary lifestyle. It’s no wonder it can lead to various health issues.
The Effects of Sitting for Too Long on Health
If this habit is frequent and lacks physical activity, it can have several effects on health, such as:
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Increased risk of obesity
One potential health risk of sitting for too long is an increase in excess body weight or obesity. When you consume excess food while sitting, it can indirectly lead to weight gain.
If this habit isn’t balanced with exercise, fat can accumulate in the body, leading to excess weight. This condition can trigger various diseases.
Increased risk of type 2 diabetes
Besides excess weight, sitting for extended periods without movement can also increase the risk of type 2 diabetes. This condition occurs due to changes in the body’s metabolism, namely insulin resistance.
When you sit for too long, your body has to work harder to absorb blood sugar and produce insulin. Both of these mechanisms play a crucial role in the body’s energy production process.
This situation can lead to insulin resistance, increasing the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Increased risk of heart disease
Be cautious, as prolonged sitting can increase the risk of heart disease. When unconverted fat accumulates in the body due to lack of movement, it can obstruct blood flow, increasing the risk of heart disease.
Risk of muscle weakness
When you sit for extended periods, your muscles won’t work because there’s no other physical activity. Spending hours sitting leads to underused muscles and weak muscle performance.
Another health issue you might experience is back pain. Back pain occurs due to posture problems. Poor posture, such as sitting for too long without any physical activity, can lead to back pain.
When back pain occurs, continuous muscle contractions narrow blood vessels. Consequently, blood flow becomes obstructed, leading to ischemia, a condition where tissues in the body lack oxygen and nutrients.
Can Sitting for Too Long Affect Male Fertility?
Sitting for extended periods may provide comfort, but it can have various effects, one of which is fertility issues. Sitting for hours on end can lead to an increase in testicular temperature, which can hinder sperm production.
According to Dr. Gito Wasian, Sp.And, a specialist in andrology at Bocah Indonesia, one of the causes of male infertility is testicular issues, including an increase in temperature due to various factors, including prolonged sitting.
“The primary cause of infertility is an issue in the source, which is in the form of hormones. So, if there are issues in the factory, the production process (of sperm) won’t be optimal. Other factors include heat or free radicals. Heat is often caused by varicocele or a history of a high fever in the past three months,” explained Dr. Gito.
Furthermore, it is advisable to avoid certain habits that can affect sperm quality, such as cycling, riding large motorcycles, hot water baths, and wearing tight pants. These habits can interfere with the fertility process.
Tips to Prevent Poor Sperm Due to Prolonged Sitting
Despite the many health and fertility issues caused by prolonged sitting, there are several easy ways to reduce them, such as:
Stand up to stretch your muscles every 20-30 minutes to prevent stiffness in your body and joints.
Use public transportation.
If available, work using a standing desk.
Take short walks to rest and avoid sitting for too long.
Now that you know how prolonged sitting can lead to health and fertility problems, especially if your job requires long hours of sitting, remember to take short breaks to stretch your body.
Don’t worry if you’re experiencing these conditions. Consult a doctor promptly to get the right solutions and treatments.
- Brinson, A.K., et al. (2023). Physical activity and fertility. Published in final edited form as:J Phys Act Health. 2023 May 5; 20(7): 600–615. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7614776/
- Mena, G.P., et al. (2020). Do physical activity, sitting time and body mass index affect fertility over a 15-year period in women? Data from a large population-based cohort study. Human Reproduction, Volume 35, Issue 3, March 2020, Pages 676–683. https://academic.oup.com/humrep/article/35/3/676/5804223
- Xie, F., et al. (2022). Association between physical activity and infertility: a comprehensive systematic review and meta-analysis. J Transl Med. 2022; 20: 237. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9125843/
- Evenson, K.R., et al. (2016). Studying the Complex Relationships Between Physical Activity and Infertility. Am J Lifestyle Med. 2016 Jul-Aug; 10(4): 232–234. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5123562/