Thursday, June 14, 2012

Policy-Shmolicy

As many of you already know, I have been an employee at my University's gym for some time now. Not the most mind-blowing job, but I have come across some rarely captured scenes. Girls working out in stilettos, women exercising in strapless bras, a post-seizure victim running around in delirium, and even the occasional dead bird on the patio.

All excitement aside, today I was asked the most interesting question about my job to date, and it prompted my latest fact-of-the-day entry.

"WHAT IS YOUR POLICY ON DETECTING EATING DISORDERS & EXERCISE ADDICTIONS IN YOUR MEMBERS??"



The answer is... none.

So, I did some research and found that it's quite common for university fitness facilities NOT to have any particular guidelines for detecting/reporting worrisome suspects. I find this to be mildly surprising, especially in being such a high risk environment:

  1. Risk factor one- College Campus = breeding ground for stress, social pressures, and body image disorders
  2. Risk factor two- well, it is a gym we're talking about here. People attending are obviously concerned about their physical health and image in some way

In case you were wondering, most of the apprehension stems from the prohibition of non-medical personnel from making medical judgement calls. BUT-- Universities also have direct access to all sorts of outreach programs, help centers, and professional aid. Thus the resources are there, the only thing missing is detection. My thoughts are that employees should be trained to follow a standardized protocol if a certain individual displays noticeably concerning habits. Perhaps even through development of a computer algorithm that identifies dangerously frequent users? Ethics might not be such a limiting factor then- just blame mister computer if someone gets upset.



Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Miles To Go

The idea of keeping an informational journal/blog came to me as a result of my frequently coming across long awaited answers to little, floating questions I had and thinking "Oh! I definitely want to remember this-- you never know when that question's going to arise again!" I'm sure everyone wants to be prepared for unexpected trivia nights, or those moments when you find yourself watching Who Wants to Be A Millionaire reruns alone on the couch at 1am (come on, what's more personally satisfying than nailing that $100,000 question? You're one step away from declaring your candidacy for the next political race, and you know it... pajamas and all).

Honestly though, I love learning new things, no matter how obscure or irrelevant the information may seem. The human mind has a seemingly infinite capacity to store and retrieve information. I personally accept nature's challenge to learn as much as possible, using this blog as a source to keep my easily-distractable mind on track.

So now that the pesky background information is out of the way- onward! To the box-worthy news of the day!

NAUTICAL MILES

For the longest time, I thought to myself, "Why on earth do we need to separately designate miles on land vs. miles traveled on water?? A mile is a mile people!"-- WRONG. 

Here's the scoop

A nautical mile is a unit of length equivalent to one minute of arc of latitude or longitude. Unlike the standard mile we non-metric users of America are used to, this measurement is actually based off of something that makes sense. But, because we still rely on the arbitrary mile, a comparison is warranted. A nautical mile equates to approximately 6,076 feet, while the standard 'land mile' is defined as 5,280 feet. 

Quick summary:
--Nautical miles make sense, standard miles are completely arbitrary 
--A nautical mile covers a longer distance than a driven mile