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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 32.djvu/748

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

fair way to solve for themselves the problems connected with them, so as "to retain the good features and to hold the evil ones in check."

The danger to athletics—"VII.By depriving them of their efficacy as a means of health"—is the only specification which might follow as a corollary from making "excellence in achievement" their "primary object." It is a danger, however, to which only a few men are liable in the athletic exercises mentioned by Dr. Sargent. I think, also, that it will be found that athletes in general are beginning to learn that to excellence and success, even in any special kind of exercise, a uniform muscular development contributes quite as much as the training of a few sets of muscles.

As bearing on this part of the subject, the remarks and chart published by Dr. Edward Hitchcock, of Amherst College, are here given. As Dr. Hitchcock is the Nestor of physical culture in the colleges, his observations have been very extensive, and his conclusions are well worthy of consideration:

"One of the results of the anthropometric work of Amherst College has been the approximate measurements and tests of the average college student, as obtained from the 1,258 different men observed during the past six college years. These are numerically and graphically arranged on the preceding page.

"The study of the present paper is to show the relation of THESE STATISTICS TO THE SAME IN THE ATHLETIC STUDENT.

"The men from whom these have been obtained were either class captains, the ball nine, the foot-ball team, or first prizes in the gymnastic exhibition and athletic games. Fifty-seven men in all.

"A study in connection with these, is what physical conditions, if any, specially characterize the athletic man in distinction from the average man or student. The chart on the preceding page shows a very close relation between the measurements of these two groups, but a little broader one in tests of strength and capacity, the greater one being in favor of the athletic man. The common consent of mankind would probably place in the same category great size and great strength of body, but, in feats of skill, our statistics do not confirm this combination' as a fact in nature. So far as Amherst College results are concerned, they seem to show that the athletic men are not athletic because of a greater height of body than the average, as the difference between them in this feature is only a centimetre, or four tenths of an inch. Of the fifteen men who took first athletic prizes in 1886, four were above and eleven below the average height of the college; and, of the nine first-prize men at the gymnastic exhibition, three were above and six below the average height.

"Another grouping of these statistics shows us what items are most alike in the make-up of these men. As already mentioned, the heights are nearly the same. So are the lengths and other measures