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The Hard Truth About Prolonged Sitting And Erectile Dysfunction

Updated: Oct 27, 2023

Humanity has learned that prolonged sitting is not good for us. From obesity to anxiety, it causes many health issues. However, did you know that prolonged sitting can cause erectile dysfunction? Well, studies have started highlighting this problem.


The book “Sitting kills, Moving Heals” by Dr. Vernikos quotes various case studies on men after prolonged sittings. Prolonged sitting reduces hormone levels and blood flow to the penis. Ultimately, it leads to temporary erectile dysfunction.


In this article, we will address how prolonged sitting can affect erections and how to avoid the risks of erectile dysfunction from prolonged sitting.


Can Prolonged Sitting Cause ED?


A man’s penis is packed with a lot of blood vessels. When blood fills the tissues and arteries in the penis, it leads to an erection. When a person sits, there is often pressure to both the nerves and the bones. Now, you can put as much pressure on the bone parts that protrude off the base of your pelvis (your Ischial tuberosities aka “sit bones”), but not the soft tissues.

Excessive pressure on the soft tissues, especially the flesh and nerves around the perineum can make a man experience poor erections. In order for an erection to work there needs to be circulation to the genital region. If the soft tissue between your legs are constantly constricted from prolonged sitting the greater the risk of damage to these important nerves.


You need to remember that anything that reduces blood flow to your penis is harmful to your sex life.


Circulation to the genitals easily be blocked


We often take our bodies for granted on habits and tendencies we do. If you really think about it there is a huge number of blood vessels and nerves that can be blocked when the weight of the upper body squashes them when sitting in a chair.


Don’t believe me? Try testing out the sensitivity of your veins by pressing on one on the back of your hand with a finger. Only a minimal amount of pressure is needed to stop the blood from flowing. Just imagine all that sitting and your erection is that blocked vein that needs to be relieved!


The angle you sit can affect erections


As we now know that too much pressure may deaden the nerves or constrict blood vessels, it’s important to point out that the angle you position yourself in can also be a factor. Sitting with 90 degree hip and knee angle can be detrimental to pelvic circulation.


So, what’s a good sitting position?


Men tend to sit with their pelvis tilted backwards. This unconscious tendency helps relieve pressure on the nerves that circulate blood to the penis. If a man sits with his hips tilted backwards and his back rounded, it can help relieve some of the pressure on the pudendal nerve and surrounding veins.


However, this sitting position or angle can put a lot of pressure to the disks in the lower back region.

Bicycle Riding and Erectile Dysfunction


Cycling is a perfect exercise for older men. It leaves an impact on your entire body allowing you to remain active and healthy. However, can prolonged sitting cause temporary erection problems? Well, maybe.


According to the Massachusetts Male Aging Study, cycling can compress arteries and nerves in the penis causing erectile dysfunction. The study further shows that men who cycled more than three hours witnessed an increased risk of erectile problems.


Alarming, right? What’s the possible reason? The reason is the constant pressure applied between the anus and genitals. The seat puts a lot of pressure on the area resulting in poor blood flow.


Funny cycling story...or not so funny.


An article about a 22 year old cyclist who crashed experienced a 7 week boner due to stradling the bike seat made a headliner in 2014.


"The hard-on finally subsided after two weeks of medical treatment in a hospital."

Talk about a a blessing and a nightmare at the same time.


It’s actually the bicycle Seat


Cycling is a healthy habit but cycling with a poor bicycle seat and angle can cause serious problems for you. In the study mentioned above, the Journal of Urology published a study that reveals that handlebar height and saddle plays a significant role in erectile dysfunction. When the saddle is lower than the handles, it increases the chances of erectile dysfunction as compared to handlebars lower than the seat.


Another study by European Urology revealed that narrow seats and V-shape saddles reduce oxygen supply to the penis by 82.4 and 72.4 percent respectively. Finding a wide and soft seat can reduce risks significantly. The best option is to use a gel-filled seat. Moreover, a 2014 study in Applied Ergonomics unveils that a saddle with less than 6cm nose is perfect for men.


But, what If I have to sit for my job?


A study revealed that an average American sits for about 13 hours a day. Moreover, an average American sits for 83 percent of waking hours. The study further revealed that 90 percent of men who sit for prolonged durations experienced ED eventually.


So how how should we sit? Do we need to stop sitting for long durations? What if your work needs you to sit for extended durations? Don’t worry, we have got you covered. Let’s see how to avoid the risk of ED from prolonged sitting.


How to Avoid the Risk of ED from Prolonged Sitting?


The first step is to realize the problem and eliminate tendencies and bad habits. Once you realize that sitting in bad angles is bad for your sex life, you will be ready to take the necessary measures. Start with adjusting your sitting posture. The area between your anus and penis carries most of the nerves responsible for erections. While sitting, you need to ensure you are not applying pressure in this area.


Apart from adjusting the sitting position, you need to sit on soft and well-padded chairs (cushion for your chair that alleviates pressure off your perineum). It doesn’t only feel good but it will help you remain active in the bedroom as well. A well-padded chair doesn’t cause harm to arteries carrying the blood to the penis.


Once you take these measures, it is time to get moving. You also need to start taking standing breaks. Instead of sending a message to your colleague, walk to them. Most of the modern smartwatches remind you to stand up after some time. You can buy one of these watches and stand for a couple of minutes as soon as you get the alarm. These small changes will reduce the chances of erectile dysfunction and improve blood flow to your penis.


Cushions For Prolonged Sitting

cushion labs for perineum support to avoid erectile dysfunction from prolonged sitting at work, while driving or sitting in a chair

If your desk chair or chair in your house isn't designed for comfort, or you feel pain after sitting for long periods of time, we highly suggest investing in a cut out seat cushion to alleviate pressure off your perineum. There are plenty of options on Amazon where you can easily find one, so you can bring it to work, car or any chair where you know you're going to be sitting for extended periods at a time.



There are also plenty of other seat cushions onine. We just highly recommend one where there is a hole cut out in the perineum area to help alleviate pressure off that area.


Change your sitting habits and take back your erections!


Prolonged sitting is harmful to your sex life. From poor erections to temporary ED, sitting can cause serious issues. The more important thing is to sit on a healthy seat. You shouldn’t be using a seat that is harmful to you. By following the above-mentioned tips, you can easily counter erectile dysfunction due to prolonged sitting.



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