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DEVELOPMENT OF THE CHEST.

NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED

Three thousand physical examinations, said Dr. Sargent in his lecture yesterday, have done much to convince me that the number of men with imperfectly formed chests is very much larger than is commonly supposed. To this fact may be attributed the large percent. of deaths which annually occur from pulmonary diseases. In this State one-fifth of the mortality is due to consumption, and in some other States it is even larger than this. Many men who have large chests and apparently well developed ones, are yet deficient in depth and respiratory power. To the casual observer a flat, depressed chest may not possess especial significance, but to the trained observer it is a signal of danger. Of course all deaths from consumption are not due to imperfect chests, but the fact that the majority of patients so afflicted are deficient in this respect goes far toward verifying the assertion that if proper care was used to develop strong, enduring chests, the death rate would be proportionally lessened. Dr. Holmes once said that it was safe to estimate that every other man met in the streets of Boston is either already afflicted with some form of pulmonary disease or will be. This being the case, it is necessary to take precautions to avoid an ailment, for which physicians can prescribe no cure other than a change of climate. Now, there are certain exercises which if taken regularly will in time make one the possessor of a well-built chest, and thereby do much to ensure health. Any exercise which causes the lungs to take in a large amount of air effects both the circulation and the respiratory functions. In this connection Dr. Sargent stated that the idea that rowing did not enlarge the respiratory power was an erroneous one, as a man who rows three miles at the top of his speed takes in eight times as much air as one in a recumbent position. There is always in the chest a hundred cubic inches of air; an ordinary respiration takes in about thirty, a deep one a hundred, and the maximum amount of air which one's chest can contain at a time is three hundred and thirty cubic inches. By the use of diagrams the functions of the heart and lungs and their dependency upon each other were clearly explained.

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