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Exercise Improves Sexual Function in Men

Exercise Improves Sexual Function in Men

New research suggests that for men, the benefit of exercise goes beyond improving cardiovascular health and controlling weight.

In the study, investigators found that regardless of race, men who exercise more have better erectile and sexual function.

While past studies have highlighted the relationship between better erectile function and exercise, African-American men have been underrepresented in this literature.

“The study is the first to link the benefits of exercise in relation to improved erectile and sexual function in a racially diverse group of patients,” said Adriana Vidal, Ph.D., senior author of the study and investigator in the Cedars-Sinai Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute and Department of Surgery in Los Angeles.

The research has been published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.

During the study, nearly 300 individuals self-reported their activity levels which researchers then categorized as sedentary, mildly active, moderately active, or highly active.

The subjects also self-reported their sexual function, including the ability to have erections, orgasms, the quality and frequency of erections, and overall sexual function.

Investigators discovered that men who reported more frequent exercise¬†— a total of 18 metabolic equivalents, or METS, per week¬†— had higher sexual function scores, regardless of race.

MET hours reflect both the total time of exercise and the intensity of exercise.

A total of 18 METS can be achieved by combining exercises with different intensities, but is the equivalent of two hours of strenuous exercise, such as running or swimming, 3.5 hours of moderate exercise, or six hours of light exercise.

Researchers found that men of any ethnicity who exercised less than 18 METS per week, reported lower levels of sexual function. Additional contributors to low sexual function included diabetes, older age, past or current smoking, and coronary artery disease.

Stephen Freedland, M.D., co-author of the study, cautioned that exercise should be tailored for each individual.

“When it comes to exercise, there is no one-size-fits-all approach,” said Freedland, who also serves as co-director of the Cancer Genetics and Prevention Program at Cedars-Sinai.

“However, we are confident that even some degree of exercise, even if less intense, is better than no exercise at all.”

Source: Cedars Sinai-EurekAlert!

Exercise Improves Sexual Function in Men

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2018). Exercise Improves Sexual Function in Men. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 28, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Aug 2018 (Originally: 24 Mar 2015)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Aug 2018
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