Archive for March, 2010

BMI and Widgets

March 30, 2010


Ankit Marwah is the developer of the BMI Calculator Widget. Time Under Tension had the opportunity to catch up with Marwah, and he explained the use of the product, as well as what inspired him to create it.

TUT: What brought about the idea for the BMI Calculator Widget?

Marwah: I used to work with a health and wellness company and was just browsing through many sites and saw that though BMI calculators were available on many sites, there were no widgets that fitness enthusiasts could embed into their own sites and blogs, so I decided to make one myself.  I have made a number of widgets related to health and wellness.

 TUT: How is it beneficial to one’s fitness regime?

Marwah: Many people have a misconception that if they are lightweight then its good, and if they are heavy then its bad for their health. What people fail to understand it that there is a ratio between one’s weight and height that is to be maintained in order to be considered healthy. For example, a guy can be 5’5″ and weigh just 60kgs but would be considered overweight, but another guy whose 6′ and weighs 80kgs is considered normal.

Going the Distance

March 25, 2010

At Quinnipiac, students can ignore the second factor, considering the fact that they use the facility at the Mount Carmel campus for free, but for some students, particularly those living off campus, distance can hold considerable weight.

“It actually is the factor,” says Tammy Reilly, Assistant Director for Fitness and Wellness at Quinnipiac. “If you don’t live close to where you’re gonna go, you’re just not gonna do it.”

Students at Quinnipiac, particularly those living at the York Hill campus, are encountering this obstacle.

“It’s extremely annoying on weekends, because I have to wait 20 or 30 minutes just to get to the gym,” says Andrew Merrick.

A junior, Merrick lives five minutes from campus, but ask any student living at the York Hill campus, and they’ll tell you that the commute from there to Mount Carmel is not, by any means, a short trip.

“You have to leave here like a half hour early,” says junior Mike Spinosa. “Walking to the garage is very inconvenient.”

The walk to the York Hill parking garage is more an issue during the winter, when high winds on the hill amplify the chill in the air.

“It’s like you have to mentally prepare yourself for that walk,” says Spinosa.

York Hill residents like Spinosa, a frequent gym goer, can either drive to the main campus and face a packed commuter lot, or wait anywhere from five to fifteen minutes for one of the shuttles that run between the two locations.

Brett Ainslie, a junior living in a house on New Road, doesn’t even have the second option. Living off campus, he says, has literally stopped him from going to the gym altogether.

“It’s not that much harder to drive to campus,” he says. “It just makes me not wanna come.”

A busy class schedule can add to the inconvenience.

For Kareem Gentles, another York Hill resident, going back up to York Hill after class, changing into gym clothes, and then making the trip back “is too much of a process.”

“I either go home or bring my stuff to class, which sucks because then you go to class all sweaty and shit,” says Gentles.

Gentles goes to the gym about once every three weeks.

“I went a lot more when I was on campus,” he said.

Expectations on Sanitation

March 4, 2010

The shortage of space caused by the crowd occupying the Mount Carmel gym on any given afternoon is a clear indication that students at Quinnipiac are committed to fitness. In addition to staying in shape, however, Mount Carmel fitness center staff members want students to embrace a different habit.

 The facility’s staff makes sure to minimize the risk of gym users contracting and/or spreading of the virus MRSA, but part of the responsibility falls on students, says Assistant Athletic Director for Fitness and Wellness Tammy Reilly.

 A potentially dangerous form of a staph infection known to spread in hospitals, MRSA has become cause for concern at gyms and fitness centers due to its tendency to breed in congested facilities. Staph is a bacteria that exists on skin, but it is not always harmful. Twenty-five to thirty percent of the population carries the bacteria without the risk of infection, according to a Journal News article.

MRSA bacteria, which is resistant to certain antibiotics, is found on 1 percent of the population.

Staff members disinfect the benches and machines using a spray called SaniGuard, but it is necessary for students to clean and wipe down the equipment they use throughout the course of the day to prevent germs from spreading, says Reilly.

“Obviously we don’t go out and slap people on the hand, and tell them to wipe off the equipment, but we enforce that in the orientation video, and the signs we put around,” says Reilly.

An American Medical Medical Association study   revealed that MRSA, at 19,000 fatalities annually, kills more people per year than the Aids virus.

Reilly says that students, typically, are conscious about equipment cleanliness, but an hour spent in the facility on a busy afternoon suggests otherwise. Someone observing the scene is unlikely to spot anyone using the paper towels or hand sanitizers stationed throughout the facility, and gym users themselves have admitted that they rarely see those guidelines followed.

“You don’t see people wiping down the equipment because some people don’t sweat that much, and they don’t really feel like they have to wipe it down,” says Justin Ottino, an occupational therapy major who frequents the gym.

“I think they’re better on the cardio equipment, than the weight equipment,” says Reilly. “I think it’s because they see themselves sweat on it, and that’s not picking on Quinnipiac, from all the gyms I’ve been at, that’s what I see.”

So far, says Reilly, Quinnipiac has not experienced any widespread MRSA outbreaks.

“I’m thinking it’s isolated cases, and it’s gonna happen wherever you are,” she says.

The Journal News reported that fitness centers do not play a large role in the spread of MRSA, mainly due to the fact that the virus tends to be spread by “skin to skin” contact, although sanitation precautions at gyms, nevertheless, should be taken.

Reilly says she has not seen the topic surface in the various health club conventions she attends.

“I don’t think it’s an issue in our industry yet,” she says.