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SHIRTLESS DRILLING.

Experiment at Perth Boys' School.

The possible benefits of physical exercise in the open-air wfth the squads of boys, stripped to the waist is being investigated at the Perth Boys' School (James-street)

?and to date the results have been surpris ing. The experiment was begun early in the year, when two squads of boys of about equal physique were selected. One of these squads was to take its daily physical work without shirts and the other was to proceed in normal drilling costume— shorts and soft shirts. Dr. Stang examined both squads on their formation, and made a second examination last week, when the boys were again measured and the results tabulated. While it is considered inadvisable to make de finite statements on the result of one ex periment, it. is interesting to note that the indications are altogether in favour of drilling while stripped to the waist. The nutrition factor of both squads is now practically normal, but the average im provement in the special squad is 0.27 as against 0.15 in the orthodox squad, and the tone of the skin and muscles of the boys in the first squad are also better. Records of absence from school due to minor ailments, such as influenza, colds, and bilious attacks, have been kept and, these .figures are also in favour of the 'stripped to the waist' squad. Of the 40 b»ys in this group, 19 were absent from these causes For a total of 67 half days, whereas in the orthodox group, of the same number, 23 were absent for 123 half days. As the lung capacity of the boys was not learned at the commencement of the scheme, the measurements recent ly made cannot be used in this experiment but it is significant that the average of the shirtless boys is, now, 140 units as against 126 units for the otHer squad. The. results obtained are held to abund antly justify the continuance and exten sion of the experiment, next year, and make a valuable addition to the research in health work which has been a feature of the school for sqme years past.

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