Businessman sitting onto of a desk.

Why You Shouldn’t Take ED ‘Sitting Down’

Combating the health threats posed by a sedentary lifestyle can also help men to preserve and support their erectile function. Spend less time sitting and more time moving around.

Millions of Americans spend most of their lives sitting down — behind a desk for the better part of their work day and perched on the couch watching TV for their leisure hours at home.

Recent medical research suggests that those who sit for six hours or more per day face a significantly higher risk of dying earlier than those who sit for three hours or less per day.

And for men, a largely sedentary lifestyle could lead to erectile dysfunction and even more serious manifestations of cardiovascular disease attributed to a lack of exercise.

What ACS Study Showed

For a study sponsored by the American Cancer Society, researchers analyzed data from multiple relevant studies about the relationship of the sedentary lifestyle to mortality from all causes. The results of their review, published in the October 2018 issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology, indicated that a sedentary lifestyle sharply increases the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers.

Cardiovascular disease is a progressive illness characterized by impeded blood flow to vital organs, including the heart and brain. Proven causative factors in CVD include atherosclerosis (a buildup of fatty plaques on artery walls), high blood pressure, and elevated cholesterol, all of which can also compromise blood flow to the penis. And insufficient blood flow to the penis is the cause of roughly 80 percent of all ED.

Daily Physical Exercise Vital

Acknowledging that the sedentary lifestyle is a “proven contributor” to ED, Michael Roizen, M.D., suggests in an article at that men aim for at least 30 minutes per day of moderate physical exercise. “It’s not just about getting to the gym. It’s about spending less time on the couch. If you want to get it up when you want it up, get up and move around.”

According to Alpa V. Patel, lead author of the ACS study, it’s important that we move more to prevent some of the serious consequences of the sedentary lifestyle. “Breaking up an hour of sitting with two minutes of standing or light activity can improve cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood pressure.”

How to Get More Active

In an article posted at, Edward R. Laskowski, M.D, director of the clinic’s Sports Medicine Center, offers a few suggestions for a more active lifestyle:

  • Stand instead of sitting whenever the opportunity to do so presents itself.
  • If your job involves desk work, try a standing desk, or one that allows you to alternate between standing and sitting.
  • Take a brief break from sitting every 30 minutes.
  • Stand while watching TV or talking on the phone.
  • Encourage coworkers to hold walking meetings instead of the usual seated setting in a conference room.

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