We interrupt our regularly scheduled blogging for this important public service announcement, brought to you by BBC news:
Men who use laptop computers could be unwittingly damaging their fertility, experts believe.
Balancing it on the lap increases the temperature of the scrotum which is known to have a negative effect on sperm production, researchers found.
Here is the key information from Dr. Yefim Sheynki of SUNY Stony Brook:
“[Laptops] are frequently positioned close to the scrotum, and as well as being capable of producing direct local heat, they require the user to sit with his thighs close together to balance the machine, which traps the scrotum between the thighs.”
The researchers asked 29 healthy male volunteers aged between 21 and 35 to take part in an experiment.
They then recorded the temperature changes to the scrotum caused by laptop use and different seating positions over one hour time periods.
Just sitting with the thighs together, a posture needed to balance a laptop, caused scrotal temperatures to rise by 2.1C.
When the men used a laptop in this position the average temperatures increased by 2.6C on the left of the scrotum and 2.8C on the right.
. . .
He said any changes might be reversible, but that repetitive use of a laptop in this way might cause permanent damage.
“Until further studies provide more information on this type of thermal exposure, teenage boys and young men may consider limiting their use of laptop computers on their laps,” he said.
We now return to our regularly scheduled blogging. Hat tip: Michael Froomkin.