Author Archives: Lauren Messing

Does Exercise Encourage the Body to Burn Calories?

I love to exercise. I have played sports my entire life, I worked at a gym, and I workout daily. In high school, I played volleyball all year round; June would be our only time off. During the month of June, I would exercise a lot less than the remainder eleven months of the year. Ironically, I would lose ten pounds, give or take, during that time period. It always amazed me that when I would work out the hardest, my weight would average the same, however, when I did not workout anywhere near to as much as I did, I would lose a hefty number of pounds for a small female. I began to wonder if exercise really does encourage the body to lose weight and burn fat? My best friend Google aided me in finding an article that might have the answer to my question.

Professor Jessica C. Selinger and Professor J. Maxwell Donavan, along with their colleagues, conducted an experiment to test whether or not the body likes to burn calories when exercising. Nine people were chosen to wear a restricting brace around their leg when they walked. This forced the body to work extra hard to take each step. One by one, the subjects would be monitored walking on a treadmill for twelve minutes at a time. After the twelve minutes was up, the brace would be removed and they would walk for a few more minutes. Each subject tested came up with the same results, and it is astonishing. After just a minute or two on the treadmill, the body would subconsciously adjust the way it moves to burn fewer calories. When the brace was ultimately removed from the knee, the body immediately went back to its original walking pattern.

I find it extraordinarily intriguing that the body tries to conserve as many calories as it can. This method allows for energy to be conserved for a time when it may need it the most. This is extremely helpful from an athlete’s perspective, as they want to conserve as much energy as possible to get them through their sporting event. Looking back, this is a solid explanation as to why I would not lose weight during my intense athletic workouts. The evidence in this study does not prove the hypothesis, but it correlates to it. I guess exercise is not the only factor in losing weight. If you are like me in any way, you would be interested in learning how to burn those calories and shed some pounds. Here is a video with a quick thirty minute workout that interactively shows how to burn that fat. Enjoy!



Will Joining Greek Life Increase My Drinking?

Over the past two weeks, I have been rushing a sorority. I would definitely categorize these past two weeks as some of the most stressful in my entire life. You have to be dressed up each day, it is super time-consuming, and you sit and talk to people you do not know under several constrictive rules. Why go through this? Being a part of Greek life definitely has it benefits. It helps with landing a job, makes you meet new people and branch out, encourages community service and giving back- the list goes on and on. One thing people look forward to the most is the social aspect. College alone has a huge reputation for drinking, but of course, like all things, that statistic does not pertain to everyone. Sororities and fraternities have frequently planned socials. As an extravert who does not like to miss out on anything, I questioned, will Greek life increase my drinking? Luckily, a study has been done to provide me with the information I have been looking for. Let’s take a look.

An observational study was conducted that measured the amount of binge drinking college students do that do not participate in Greek life in comparison with college students that do participate in Greek life. This was documented by Henry Wechsler, George Kuh, and Andrea E. Davenport, all of whom are college professors. A set of questions were sent out to fraternities, sororities, and unassociated Greek life students at 115 colleges across the United States. 14, 756 students participated and filled out the questionnaire. Questions consisted of the importance of drinking, the amount of drinks consumed within a certain range of time, and the amount of times you go out to social events with the presence of alcohol.

The results were ultimately very intriguing. Men and women associated with Greek life find drinking to be three times more important than those not in Greek life. 86% of the fraternity brothers binge drink and over 3/4 of sorority members claim they binge drink in college. All parts of Greek life admitted to drink more in college than they had previously in their high school years. Many problems surface with binge drinking. Fraternity members spoke of more fights breaking out, lower grades, and disrupted sleep than non-Greek college students. 

Conclusively, this study provides evidence that agrees with the hypothesis that Greek Life increases the amount of alcohol you consume regularly.  Joining a sorority/fraternity has many positive attributes and can be a great experience. With every positive comes a possible negative. Direct causality is seen here as Greek life causes more drinking. However, reverse causality is not possible due to the fact drinking cannot cause Greek life. A confounding variable could cause both, yet it was not tested in this study. Caution: do not be opposed to joining Greek life at your school because you do not like to heavily drink. Warning: many heavily drinking events are likely to go on that other members will be a part of. So, I am still thrilled to be a part of a sorority, and I am definitely not going to tell my mom about this study.

Feel free to check out this video on some of the negative affects alcohol has on your body!




Is Napping Bad?

I love to sleep. Daytime, nighttime, standing, sitting-you name it; I will pass out if I have the chance. Obviously, I am always a hardworking, ambitious student who does not go to sleep at night until my work is complete. Inevitably, this calls for some (way too many) late nights. Guilty of procrastination, I find way too many things to do besides get into bed and go to sleep. The screeching of my alarm clock in the morning makes my ears bleed (not actually), and my next thought as I unhappily wake up is when I can fit in that afternoon nap. The feeling of getting into bed after some exhausting and boring morning classes is the most satisfying moment ever. I tend to take very long naps; a few hours at the least. When I wake up groggy, and usually unaware of what day it is (do not act like this has not happened to you), I always want to just rest my head back down and fall back asleep. I thought napping was supposed to be rejuvenating, right? Is napping actually good for you after all?

Don’t be bummed! A recent study proves that naps can help improve learning. Alex Mecklinger from the Saarland Neuropsychology Unit conducted an experiment with 41 subjects. He had each of them memorize 90 words and 120 groups of words. Immediately after the memorization, the subjects had to recite as many of the words they could remember. Then, half of the subjects took a nap for 1 hour and 30 minutes, and the rest watched a DVD in the categorized time period. Once 90 minutes had passed, all of the subjects had to recite all of the words they could remember for the second time. The results were outstanding. The participants who took a nap performed increasingly (more than 5x) better than those who watched the DVD. Further, the participants who napped also performed just as exceptionally the second time around as the first. 

The results of this experiment are consistent with the hypothesis that naps are indeed good for you. However, as with most things in life, you should take that with a grain of salt. Many rules and restrictions apply when attempting to take a beneficial nap. Naps can be beneficial to overall personal health and learning if they are under an hour; a thirty minute nap is ideal. Planning a time to nap and wake up can help your body prepare for it. A pre-determined nap time each day will lessen the time it takes to fall asleep at night. Feel free to view this video on how to take a productive nap.

Of course, excessive napping can be a sign of something much more than pulling an all-nighter. Exhaustion and the urge to sleep is on the symptom list of several different medical concerns. The conclusion that napping is neither harmful nor hurtful is in coercion with the hypothesis that naps are beneficial. In the experiment at hand, a quick nap is one of the most significant ways to rejuvenate your body.

Most college students would love nothing more than to lay in bed and sleep all day. Classes are rigorous. Schoolwork is time consuming. Extra curricular activities are fun yet depleting. Benefit yourself. Become a better learner. Take a nap.






I Don’t Like Science Either

Hello! My name is Lauren Messing and I am a freshman in the class of 2020. Currently, I am undecided in my major, however, I have decided that it will not consist of anything science. This course was the perfect fit for someone like me. In the words of my advisor, “it is science without the science”. I couldn’t agree more.

All throughout my past education, I have taken classes that are your basic, informational, bland science courses. From physics, to chemistry, to biology, and (unfortunately) much more, I began to dislike science one course at a time. My teachers in the past were very textbook; they followed the guideline of the class exactly without ever adding their own spark of interest. This allowed for a cause and effect theme to occur. The teacher was uninteresting, therefore, the students were uninterested. Did this directly cause my hatred? No, but it most definitely did not illuminate an excitement for the subject within me. Now, I have signed up for SC200 in desperate hope that it will be different. The syllabus for this course seemed to embody a different, untaught version of science. This caught my attention. The class questions the questions that nobody thought to question (sorry for the tongue-twister). “Are drugs better than teachers?” “Are males toxic?” Who would have thought these questions would be of topic in a science class? I am super excited to dive in and find the answers to the many diverse questions/topics we will be studying throughout the semester; and I can honestly say that is the first time I have ever said that about a science related class.

I am a huge sports fan; basketball, football, volleyball- you name it , I love it. For the past four years, I played volleyball competitively and was very successful in my high school/club career. Sports helped shape the person I am today. They made me in touch with my competitive side, something that will help me succeed throughout my life. After playing under many different coaches, I have learned that there is a science behind every part of the game. Whether it be the placement of the serve, the velocity of the ball, or the play chosen for that exact moment; there is a scientific reason why we chose to do that. Below, I have attached an article that depicts different pieces of physics that are relevant to the game of volleyball. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. (: