From Wired News:
Men who regularly balance their laptop computers on their laps when working may be jeopardizing their ability to have children, according to a new study from fertility researchers at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.
The potential risk comes from the heat generated by the laptop computer and the close position of one’s thighs when balancing the computer on one’s lap, the researchers found. This heat is transferred to the scrotum, where the temperature can rise several degrees, putting users within the danger zone for testicular dysfunction.
“I definitely recommend that teenage boys and young males limit the use of laptop computers because the results may be unpredictable,” said lead researcher Yefim Sheynkin, director of male infertility and microsurgery at the university. “Don’t get me wrong — the laptop computer is very useful and helpful. But we need to be cautious.”
Scientists have known for years that an increase of even 1 degree Celsius in testicular or scrotal temperature can decrease the production of healthy sperm by as much as 40 percent. In the Stony Brook study, researchers found that test subjects who sat for an hour with running laptops on their laps had a median increase in scrotal temperature of 2.6 to 2.8 degrees Celsius.
The tests did not measure the volunteers’ actual sperm production.
I’m writing this as I balance my laptop on my lap in an armchair. When I discovered the story, I decided to get up and stretch a bit.