April 20, 2024

Too much screen time is literally making men soft: Chinese scientists found that playing computer games for a prolonged period can drastically increase someone’s likelihood of experiencing erectile dysfunction, per a study published in the journal “Andrology.”

“The present study offered substantial evidence for a positive causal association between computer use and the risk of erectile dysfunction,” wrote the study authors.

Chinese scientists found that playing computer games for a prolonged period can drastically increase someone’s likelihood of experiencing erectile dysfunction, per a study published in the journal “Andrology.” Alessandro Biascioli – stock.adobe.com
Scientists found for every additional 1.2 hours of leisure time on the computer — of which type they didn’t specify — the participants more than tripled their likelihood of experiencing ED. bonnontawat – stock.adobe.com

Scientists arrived at this hard truth by exploring “the causal association between leisure sedentary behavior and erectile dysfunction,” per the study.

To gauge if there was a link, researchers observed 223,805 men aged 40 to 69 as they engaged in various leisure activities, including watching TV, computer use and even driving for pleasure.

They then measured participants’ levels of testosterone and other sex hormones as well as feelings of depression and anxiety.

Scientists found for every additional 1.2 hours of leisure time on the computer — of which type they didn’t specify — the participants more than tripled their likelihood of experiencing ED.

Interestingly, scientists didn’t “obtain any evidence” to suggest that watching television or leisure driving didn’t have the same effect, suggesting that being sedentary wasn’t the problem in and of itself.

“The present study offered substantial evidence for a positive causal association between computer use and the risk of erectile dysfunction,” the study authors wrote. Adobe Stock

How do these pixelated pursuits torpedo one’s “hard” drive?

Prolonged computer use is associated with lower levels of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), which is manufactured by the brain’s pituitary gland. Along with testosterone, FSH is responsible for stimulating sperm production in men, which, when impinged, can result in ED.

By a similar token, low levels of FSH have also been found to cause decreased libido, infertility and low energy. Fortunately, this digitally-induced impotence can be counteracted by “moderate physical activity,” per the study.

No need to exchange your laptop for an elliptical just yet, however: The study had several caveats, most notably the fact that they only evaluated men under 70, the age at which ED is most prevalent.

These pixelated pursuits can be “game over” for someone’s sex drive. Drobot Dean – stock.adobe.com

The intensity of the symptoms was also unclear.

“Therefore, it could only be concluded that the longer the time spent using a computer, the more likely ED was to occur, but the risk of developing a specific type of ED or how severe ED would be could not be determined,” the authors wrote.

Researchers determined that more research is needed before they can establish a “definitive causal association” between computer use and impotence.

The study also neglected to specify what type of leisurely computer use upped the chances of ED, which currently affects around 30 million men in the US.

However, previous studies have found that online porn can paradoxically ruin young men’s love lives by giving them unrealistic sex-pectations.

“Porn addiction can lead to desensitization to sexual stimuli, which can decrease arousal and lead to difficulties achieving and maintaining an erection,” explained clinical sexologist and psychotherapist Dr. Rob Weiss. “If my primary source of arousal is constantly looking at 50 images a day or 1,000 images a day, I no longer become that interested on an individual basis.”

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