Researchers suggest adopting an active lifestyle early in life may be a preventive measure against ED in later years.

In a study conducted at Emory University (Atlanta, Georgia) on a group of 78 men ranging in age from 18 to 40 it was found a sedentary lifestyle was directly related to sexual dysfunction.

The study defined a sedentary person as one exerting less than 1400 kilocalories per week. Participants in the sedentary group (n=27) and the active group (n=51) completed two questionnaires, one concerning physical activity (The Paffenbarger Physical Activity Questionnaire) and the other, sexual functions (The International Index of Erectile Function).

The IIEF scores individuals based on erectile function, orgasmic function, sex drive, intercourse satisfaction, and overall satisfaction. Forty-four percent of the sedentary group scored as sexually dysfunctional and were less satisfied with their overall sex life (63% as opposed to only 35.3% of the active group).

These figures were in spite of other health concerns including smoking, hypertension, and diabetes present within the active group. The study did not take into account testosterone levels, depression, or other psychological issues that can cause erectile dysfunction.