KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 2 — Men who do more vigorous workouts may have better sperm quality than their peers who do not.
A new study published in the latest edition of Oxford Academic’s Journal of Human Reproduction found that regular exercise could improve semen quality parameters among healthy, non-infertile men.
However, the study’s co-author, Dr Yi-Xin Wang, told Reuters that it was difficult to tell how much exercise, how often, and what type of workouts men should do for optimal fertility.
The study analysed sperm samples from 746 voluntary study participants who donated their sperm at the Hubei Province Human Sperm Bank in China. The men were 28-years-old on average, with healthy weight, no sexually transmitted diseases, and at least a high school education.
Researchers asked participants how regularly they exercised, and how intensely, as well as what other activities they did. The researchers then scored participants’ exercise levels and intensity per week based on a measure known as metabolic equivalent of task (MET); light activities such as walking or housework earn fewer MET points.
Half of the men in the study scored at least 2,245.5 MET minutes a week. The least active men got only about 526.5 MET minutes, while the most active men surveyed got about 7,082.3 MET minutes.
While higher MET levels were associated with increased sperm motility — the ability of sperm to move through the female reproductive tract to reach an egg — the study found that men’s sperm concentration and morphology did not appear to vary based on how much exercise they got.
The amount of time men spent in sedentary pursuits like working at a computer or watching television, on the other hand, also didn’t appear to impact any parameters of semen quality, according to Reuters.