A study has suggested that older, overweight men who exercise more have better erectile and sexual function.
The authors are saying their conclusions support the idea that exercise may one day be prescribed as management for erectile dysfunction.
Though research has previously connected erections to physical activity, this current learning is a first to include a high portion of African-Americans and resulted they get the same seeming benefit from exercise as white men.
Senior study author Adriana Vidal, researcher at the Cedars-Sinai Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute in Los Angeles, said in an email, “Our results confirm previous work, however, no study has ever addressed on how a minimal amount of exercise impacts both erectile and sexual function among black men, a population with increased prevalence of erectile dysfunction risk factors, including obesity, diabetes, sedentary lifestyle and lower socioeconomic status.”
Exercise habits and sexual function were scrutinized by Vidal and colleagues in 295 healthy men, who were part of a research project evaluating prostate cancer risk at the Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center, North Carolina.
The men around 62 years old, on average, all overweight or obese. Around one third had diabetes or a history of chest pain or heart attacks. About three quarters were current or former smokers. Ninety-three men, or about a third of the group, were African-American.
Participants were asked how often intensely they exercised, as well as what types of physical activities they do. The results were tallied based on a measure known as metabolic equivalent of task (MET) hours per week and placed in four classifications ranging from sedentary, with three or fewer MET hours per week, to highly active, with at least 18 MET hours per week.
Most often, the men were sedentary, with 44 percent reporting little activity. But a substantial proportion, 26 percent, were highly active.
Men were asked by researchers about their sexual function, on their ability to acquire erections and orgasms, and the quality and frequency of their erections.
Men rated their functionality on most questions from 1 to 5, with higher numbers equals more satisfaction. Answers could lead to a total score from 0 to 100. The average sexual satisfaction score was 50 among all the participants.
Men who reported frequent exercise also reported higher sexual functionality scores. 50 % of the highly active men reported sexual function scores of at least 70, compared with a median score of about 33 for sedentary men.
The researchers wrote in The Journal of Sexual Medicine, the study is moderately small, and wasn’t designed to prove that men can improve sexual function by getting more exercise.