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Driving may affect male sex performance

Thursday, 10 Feb 2005 ( #195 ) - ROCKHAMPTON, Australia
News Story
Central Queensland University lecturer Darren Joubert
A researcher wants to find out if there is a link between professional driving and reproductive problems.

Darren Joubert, lecturer in occupational health and safety at Central Queensland University, thinks the effect of whole body vibration (WBV) exposure in men may be linked to erectile dysfunction.

He said that, during his study of forklift drivers and lower back pain in South Africa, many participants complained of erection difficulties.

"I had drivers complaining to me regularly when they were completing the questionnaire and one even said it was nearly resulting in his divorce, which indicated that it had a big impact on some people’s lives."

Joubert surveyed 209 forklift drivers using diesel engine forklifts with capacities ranging from three to five tons, at the Port of Durban. In one case, a gas-powered forklift was used.

He reviewed scientific journals and literature on the internet to look for studies linking WBV exposure to adverse reproductive outcomes.

"(There were) no specific studies on erectile dysfunction as an adverse reproductive outcome, which started me thinking about doing a study. This is in addition to the anecdotal evidence I had gathered in South Africa from forklift drivers," Joubert said.

His address on professional driving and adverse reproductive outcomes, presented at a recent Australian Institute of Occupational Hygienists' conference, won an award for best paper.
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