THE examinations at the Gymnasium have been very satisfactory, and we are happy to state that the paragraph which has been going the rounds of the press, as to a prevailing trouble with the heart on account of cigarette smoking and coffee drinking, is utterly false. On the contrary, of the two hundred and fifty men who have been examined, only two have been restricted from the use of the Gymnasium. Of course there have been instances of palpitation of the heart, but nothing more serious than that caused by overwork on the semi-annuals, or excessive exercise just previous to the examination.
The average of the men examined hitherto has been above that of young men in general, and though this high average may be lessened by the asuremements of those awaiting their turn at examination, it is certain that the average of College men will be somewhat higher than the average development of young men of the same age outside the College.
Harvard men are generally strong in the legs, the extensor, flexor, and calf being as a rule well developed; and there is only about one case in ten where special exercise for the legs has been ordered. The usual weak point is the upper portion of the chest, and the neck, which in many instances is bent forward. This is generally the result of continual stooping over a desk, as many students have had little attention paid to their physical development while their bones were easily bent from their normal state. There have been no prevailing weaknesses, such as diseases of the heart and lungs, made manifest.
The men here tend more to a good general development by using a variety of apparatus, rather than to the special development of one set of muscles, which is the fashion at Yale. The most useful apparatus is the sectional weights, near which a set of directions for use has been posted. By means of these, every muscle above the waist can be brought to a good development. The best time for exercising for men in general is in the afternoon, and this is generally acknowledged by the fact that two hundred and fifty men have been counted who were exercising at the same time in the Gymnasium during afternoon hours.
The average attendance at the Gymnasium is over three hundred a day.