A new study reveals that cutting wood increases testosterone levels. Yes, this is a real study. Chopping wood has often been associated with a virile archetype, and now there is scientific research to support this conventional image. According to Time Magazine, researchers from the University of California, Santa Barbara "tested the testosterone levels of the indigenous Tsimane people in central Bolivia before and after they cut down trees. Their results showed a 46.8 percent increase in testosterone levels following the wood cutting, a full 17 percent higher than the testosterone bump caused by playing soccer."
This is quite the increase in testosterone levels. However, in modern society where most men aren't participating in laborious horticultural activity, are we losing out on natural testosterone boosts? Not really. As the study demonstrates, you can enhance testosterone levels through other forms of activity such as soccer or weight lifting. Although it's interesting to note that a non-competitive activity such as wood chopping significantly increases testosterone, this study hardly limits the production of testosterone to a single activity. With the influx of Western middle-aged men battling problems around erectile dysfunction, an increase in natural testosterone-building activities is likely to decrease testosterone deficiencies.
An article on Art of Manliness lists numerous ways you can naturally induce T-levels from a balanced diet, taking vitamins, exercise, getting more sleep, and having a regular sex life. Simple enough right? Point being: there are alternative choices to getting that testosterone kick; you're not limited to becoming a lumberjack or participating in competitive sports.
Women aren't singled out either. The study indicates that testosterone is not exclusively related to competition and aggression. Trumble believes females receive the same benefits from testosterone spikes, and that he would have seen the same boosts in women if they had been included in his test, as Time reports. This means that women and men can benefit from an array of competitive and natural activities that relate to testosterone production.
It's also important to consider the cultural and environmental differences in maintaining and increasing testosterone levels between Western and Amazonian men. Trumble, one of the researchers and anthropologist of the study, states that "Tsimane men, who have a far more active life, have lower levels of testosterone when compared to age-matched U.S. men, but also appear to have less of a decline in testosterone with age. Even late in life, these men can express the same spikes in testosterone as younger men" as ABC Science reports.
This study has highlighted how Western society has a limited cultural and physical perception of testosterone-building activities. Given the multitude of testosterone benefits including energy, healthy libido, and confidence, it's important to understand testosterone production in Western culture for both men and women. These findings may also offer the prospect for more indie-wood chopping competitions for the middle-aged men of America.