Submit your own Neatorama post and vote for others' posts to earn NeatoPoints that you can redeem T-shirts, hoodies and more over at the NeatoShop!

Long Distance Runners Are More Reproductively Successful

(Photo: Peter Mooney)

Previous studies indicate that men who have ring fingers that are longer than their index fingers tend to have higher sex drives and sperm counts. They have greater "reproductive potential." A new study finds that long distance runners--specifically marathon runners--tend to have longer ring fingers. The authors take this as evidence that runners have an advantage in mating.

The study measured 542 men at the Robin Hood Marathon in Nottingham, UK. The Daily Telegraph reports on the results:

They found that the 10 per cent of men with the most masculine digit ratios were, on average, 24 minutes and 33 seconds faster than the 10 per cent of men with the least masculine digit ratios, suggesting that those who were better runners also had increased fertility.

“The observation that endurance running ability is connected to reproductive potential in men suggests that women in our hunter-gatherer past were able to observe running as a signal for a good breeding partner,” said the study’s lead author Dr Danny Longman.

“It was thought that a better hunter would have got more meat, and had a healthier – and larger – family as a consequence of providing more meat for his family.

Newest 5
Newest 5 Comments

Aah! That's the magic of the amazing scrotum! There is a countercurrent heat exchanger made up of the arrangement of blood vessels that essentially isolates the scrotum from the heat of the rest of the body. Because of this, the testes stay cool even if the body is warm.
This arrangement is taken to extremes in dolphins and whales (which have no external scrotum), which run blood vessels through their fins to cool it, and then direct the cooled blood to their (internal) testes.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
The Kenyan Kalenjin people are a large percentage of the record breakers within long distance runners, partly due to their body form which has evolved from living in a hot climate and developing a method by which to cool it. Another portion is cultural, which is being less frequently exercised. Traditionally, both men and women underwent rites of passage which includes crawling nearly naked through stinging nettles, having the shins beat upon, being circumcised with a sharp pointed stick, and running everywhere. Reproductive preferences side with those who have undergone the rituals with those who had not being seen as "not quite a man/woman."
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Long distance runners have more air movement around their scrotum, cooling the testicles. Excessive heat in the testicles is correlated with lower sperm viability and motility.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Login to comment.
Email This Post to a Friend
"Long Distance Runners Are More Reproductively Successful"

Separate multiple emails with a comma. Limit 5.


Success! Your email has been sent!

close window

This website uses cookies.

This website uses cookies to improve user experience. By using this website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

I agree
Learn More