It is not a joking matter, researchers are claiming that sitting laptops on your laps are dangerous for your reproductive future as its generated heat activities can affect brewing sperms in the scrotum. Take a cue and find a new way of sitting your laptops
Men, if you’re planning on having children, it might not be such a good idea to have that laptop sitting on your legs, even if you use a laptop pad. Researchers at Stony Brook University in New York have found that sitting with a laptop computer on your legs can elevate temperatures in the scrotum, a condition known as scrotal hyperthermia.
Although the study doesn’t explicitly state that this could cause infertility, other studies have linked increased scrotal temperatures to the inability to naturally produce children, according to Reuters. The Stony Brook researchers’ findings are published in the November volume of the monthly medical journal Fertility and Sterility.
Yefim Sheynkin, the study’s lead researcher, told Reuters that volunteers in the study volunteers started experiencing unsafe temperatures after sitting with a laptop for 10 to 15 minutes.
The study used thermometers to measure the scrotal temperatures of 29 male volunteers who sat with a laptop on their legs for three separate 60-minute sessions. The first 60 minutes, the men sat with a laptop directly on their lap, the second round, the men used a laptop pad, and for the final session the men used a laptop pad with their legs spread apart at about a 70-degree angle.
In every position, the scrotal temperature increased, although the heat took about 30 minutes to get going when using the laptop pad. It’s not clear what kind of laptop pads the men used, or whether different types of cooling pads and laptop desks offer better heat protection than others.
The researchers concluded that if you want to keep things cool below the waist, you’re better off leaving the laptop on the table instead of your lap. If you must balance your laptop on your legs, researchers advise keeping your legs spread apart and only sitting in that position for significantly shorter periods.
This is not the first time researchers at Stony Brook have looked at laptops and the device’s effects on male reproductive health. In 2004, Stony Brook researchers published a study in the UK journalHuman Reproduction. That study, again lead by Sheynkin, also linked sitting with laptops to scrotal hyperthermia; however, at the time Sheynkin posited that, “external protective devices [such as laptop pads] could help.”
In the new study, urologist Yefim Sheynkin of Stony Brook University in New York and his colleagues enlisted 29 men ages 21 to 35 to participate in three tests in which each man operated a laptop computer on his thighs for one hour. One test entailed keeping the thighs together while using the machine.
A second required the same position, but with a padded shield placed under the laptop.
The third test allowed the men to keep their legs apart at a 70-degree angle as they used a laptop with a shield supporting it that was wide enough to reach across both legs and stabilize the computer.
Each of the men completed all three tests, but did only one test per day. Before each experiment, sensors recorded the scrotum temperature of each volunteer and recorded any changes during the session.
All three uses of a laptop increased the men’s scrotal temperature substantially from pretext levels, but keeping the legs splayed limited this increase to about 1.4 degrees Celsius during the hour-long test.
When the legs were kept together the temperature rose by 2.2 degrees with a shield and 2.3 degrees without one.What’s more, it took an average of 28 minutes for scrotal temperatures to rise 1 degree Celsius when the men had their legs apart, but only 14 minutes to increase that much when they kept their legs together with a shield and 11 minutes with legs together and no shield.
“Having the legs together, which is how most people use laptops, does seem to be the worst,” Sabanegh says. “This makes a lot of sense.”The laptop shields — also called laptop pads or trays — are sold online and in office-supply stores, though not typically as protective devices, says Sheynkin. He recommends that men put laptops on desks or tables, which enables them to move their legs around and avoid being trapped in a single position for extended periods.
Sabanegh says that many men have come to understand the risks of increasing the scrotum temperature. While such heat may not always be the underlying problem for a couple with fertility issues, it’s part of counseling. “I tell them, ‘Try to be healthy in all the ways you can.’ And that means stop putting laptops on your lap, stop using hot tubs and other things of that nature.”