You are driving home after work, and you are silently cursing the traffic snarl-up. You want to be back in time for your favorite soap opera. And thank God, you get home just in the nick of time.
The time is 8.00 pm. Your first episode of five mouth-watering soap operas is about to begin. And today is unique because of a new series debuts. You have seen its trailers for the past two weeks, and you promised yourself never to miss the first episode.
There you are. A glass of your much-loved drink on one hand and the TV remote on the other, you slouch on the couch.
You sit through the first episode. You love the twists and plots of the show. After an exciting one hour, the episode ends. But you know the second series will follow shortly. It has reached a cliffhanger, and you don’t want to miss a single minute of it. Before you know it, it’s 2.00 am. You have been glued to the TV for the last 7 hours.
Unbelievable, but today is not an extraordinary day. It is your usual routine on weekdays. You spend even more time on weekends.
How does this affect your wellbeing? You spend (others will say you waste) a lot of your time. Seven hours per day translates to 2,555 hours in a year. That’s equal to three and a half months.
But time is not the only thing you are losing. You are compromising your ability to procreate. You will be shooting blanks. So if you want to get children, it’s time to get your but off the couch. Spending more time watching TV lowers your sperm count.
TV Time and Sperm Count
According to a study co-authored by Dr. Lærke Priskorn of the University of Copenhagen, men who watch TV for 5 or more hours per day have 29 percent and 34 percent lower sperm concentration and sperm counts respectively compared to those who did not watch TV. Dr. Priskorn says it in more practical terms — “the dip makes it more difficult to father a child.”
The average sperm count ranges from 40 million to 300 million per milliliter of semen. If your sperm count is less than 15 million per milliliter of fluid, it is considered low.
Scientists are not entirely sure why extended TV viewing lowers your sperm count and concentration. According to the above study, people who spend a similar amount of time playing computer games did not lose their potency. So, what’s wrong with the TV?
Why Do TV Viewers Have a Lower Sperm Count Than Computer Gamers?
Doctors give three possible explanations.
First, when you watch a ton of TV, you are mostly very still. The stillness increases the temperature of your scrotum, and this messes your sperm production. Sperm production stops if the scrotum becomes too hot.
Secondly, physical exercises, make your body produce antioxidant enzymes. The antioxidants protect your sperms against damage. One study done on 200 college students and reported in the British Journal of Sports Medicine showed that physical activity boosts semen quality.
Further, a study published in the American Journal of Men’s Health in 2017 asserts that intense exercises strengthen semen quality.
It, thus, follows that you unknowingly damage your growing sperms when you vegetate on the couch.
And thirdly, folks that are glued to TVs for hours on end tend to be overweight or drink too much. Both of these conditions will kill your sperm.
So, if you have tried to become a dad for a while now without success, it’s time to change your couch potato lifestyle. We give you a few tips to help you get off the TV.
How to Pull Yourself Out of TV Addiction
Image via Flickr by Bev SykesKicking out any addiction is not easy. It takes a lot of effort and willpower. You may have to consult experts for help. But the first thing is to acknowledge the problem and commit yourself to change it.
Try to figure out
Why are you spending so much time on TV? Is it a coping mechanism to run away from something you should be doing in the real world?
Is there some failure you are trying to hide? If so, what is it? Wouldn’t it be better to face your situation than to place yourself in a make-believe world?
Whatever reason you come up with, there are steps you can take to stop your TV addiction. Here are some ideas to cut your TV viewing time.
- Cut down on your couch time. Decide to watch a particular show only or two, not a whole range of them. Once your chosen show is over, call it a day. Do not spend more time surfing on other shows.
- Take breaks between episodes to do physical exercises. Do some stretching. Or better yet, play some other games with your family or friends. You can play chess, backgammon, scrabble, or whatever, so long as it will keep you off the TV.
- Have a start and end time for your TV viewing. For instance, you can decide to switch on the TV only after 8.00 pm and watch for three hours. Then set a timer in a different room to ring when your viewing time is up. Switch off the TV as you go to switch off your timer.
- Take an evening walk even if it is just around the block. Walking is a good exercise for you, and it will delay your TV exposure time.
- Some people keep several TVs in their houses. That’s a bad idea because it increases your temptation to vegetate on one of them. So, sell them and leave only one TV in the house. Or better yet, give them out to charity.
- Other than watching TV make a habit of reading books. Pick that exciting novel you have promised yourself to read over the last couple of months. Books engage your mind better.
- Take your meals with the TV off.
Finally, does too much TV affect men’s sperms? You don’t have to wonder anymore. Spending a lot of time watching TV is not only harmful to yourself but reduces your ability to have offspring. But the good news is, you can always change your lifestyle for the better.
How do you regulate your TV viewing time? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.