6 Ways a Sedentary Lifestyle Affects Men's Sexual Health

6 Ways a Sedentary Lifestyle Affects Men's Sexual Health


Dr. Fred Edwards, MBBS, FRACGP

We all know that an active body is a healthy one. But when you spend most of your time sitting or lying down, the lack of physical activities negatively affects your overall well-being. That includes your sexual health. Let’s look at some of the ways that a sedentary lifestyle affects men’s sexual health.   

Poor blood circulation 

A sedentary lifestyle can lead to poor blood circulation, including your pelvic region. Exercising helps increase blood flow because your heart pumps blood around your body faster. The lack of physical activities can lead to hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases.  

This is crucial because high blood pressure and heart diseases can cause erectile dysfunction. 

Poor blood circulation also has a direct effect on men’s erections. According to an article published by the Wayne State University, a decrease in blood flow to the penis negatively affects erections. It can result in weak or short-lasting erections. 

Uncontrolled weight gain 

Inactivity can lead to uncontrolled weight gain. When you spend your time sitting in front of your computer or lying on the sofa while binge-watching your favourite series, you are not using the energy you are getting from the food that you eat. The unused energy gets stored by your body as fat and causes you to gain weight. 

What’s the connection between weight gain and sexual health? Can sitting too much affect your sexual health? Yes, it can. According to the Mayo Clinic, obesity worsens other risk factors for heart disease, which is one of the causes of erectile dysfunction. 

Lower energy levels 

Sexual activities use up energy. According to an article by the National Library of Medicine, the average energy spent during sexual activities is approximately 85 kilocalories. When you live a sedentary lifestyle, you might not have enough energy during intercourse to completely satisfy your partner. Low energy levels might also reduce your interest in tiring activities, including sex. 

Aside from exercising regularly, you can increase your energy levels by eating a balanced and nutrient-rich diet. You should also get quality sleep because sleeping lets your body rejuvenate. According to the UK’s National Health Service, adults need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night.   

Higher risk of chronic diseases 

Chronic diseases cause erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation. According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, a sedentary lifestyle makes you prone to chronic diseases, like heart disease and diabetes. 

This doesn’t mean though that you need to spend hours at the gym to be healthy. According to an article by the Heart Foundation of Australia, simple everyday movements like walking or doing household chores can make you physically active. As little as 10 minutes of physical activity each day can help improve your health. However, the Australian Government recommends between 30 to 45 minutes of physical activity, at least five days a week, to help reduce your risk of developing heart disease or having a heart attack. 

Decreased testosterone levels 

Testosterone is a sex hormone made in the testicles. It is vital to male sexual development and functions. According to a study published by the Canadian Journal of Urology, low testosterone is a risk factor for erectile dysfunction. 

Although it won’t increase testosterone levels dramatically, exercising can help increase testosterone levels for short periods. Testosterone levels can rise for 15 minutes up to an hour after exercising, depending on a man’s age. Younger men might experience a bigger testosterone boost after exercising. 

Psychological effects 

A sedentary lifestyle can have negative psychological effects. The lack of exercise can lead to obesity and low self-esteem. When a man feels that his body doesn’t look attractive, he might have problems achieving an erection.  

Additionally, a sedentary lifestyle can lower your energy levels. When you don’t move that often, you don’t release endorphins. This which could causes fatigue, which in effect causes sexual dysfunction. 

Poor body image can also cause anxiety and depression. These are two psychological issues that can cause erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation. According to an article published by the Cleveland Clinic, depression can lead to a loss of interest in activities, including sexual intercourse. Depression can also cause low energy levels, leading to premature ejaculation because you want to reach orgasm while you still have enough energy left. 


An active lifestyle keeps you healthy and helps you be sexually active, while sedentary lifestyle affects men's sexual health and can cause sexual problems like premature ejaculation (PE) and erectile dysfunction (ED). By combining simple daily activities like walking, gardening, dancing, and exercising with a healthy diet and positive lifestyle choices, you can achieve a healthy body and a happy sex life. 

If you’re having sexual problems that may be related to your sedentary lifestyle, consult a health professional who can help you manage common male bedroom issues like ED and PE. Book a consultation with the Men’s Health Clinic (MHC) to get started. 

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