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Somax Performance Institute
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Drop in STEM College Majors Linked to Heavy School Backpacks
A survey from the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) in the US Department of Education shows a precipitous drop in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) college majors between 1996 and 2006. The percentage of undergraduates in STEM fields dropped from 22.8% to just 13.7%--a stunning 40% drop in enrollment.

So, what happened to high school students between 1996 and 2006 that they turned their backs on STEM fields of study?
Heavy school backpacks.
In the mid-90’s manufacturers had to start producing larger school backpacks because students could not fit all of their books in the standard school backpack. Students who entered college in 1996 would not have been affected by this switch to much heavier school backpacks.
But students entering college in 2006 would have been carrying these heavy backpacks for 10 years.
A study published by Hundekari, et. al. in the International Journal of Basic and Applied Medical Sciences in 2013 found a marked reduction in vital capacity in school students while they carried heavy school backpacks. In the table below, you can see that vital capacity in boys dropped from an average of 1.92 liters to just 1.18 liters as their backpacks increased above 30% of their bodyweight—a 39% reduction In vital capacity. Girls dropped their vital capacity from 1.52 liters to 1.02 liters—a 34% reduction.



So, what does carrying a heavy school backpack have to do with STEM majors?
It is widely recognized by students and teachers alike that STEM courses are much tougher than courses in the humanities. When brain power is reduced, students will pick easier majors so they can graduate from college.
Somax Performance Institute increases chest expansion in athletes who complete their program of motion analysis and Microfiber Reduction (a proprietary form of connective tissue massage). As they double their chest expansion, these athletes not only improve their sports performance but their academic performance as well. Young competitive swimmers improve their GPA by a full letter grade, and a college-age golfer went from making C’s to graduating with two majors and two minors with A’s.
As Somax releases the microfibers (mild scar tissue in the connective tissue between the chest muscles) that are restricting chest expansion, athletes often remember what stress caused the microfibers to form in the first place.
What do athletes under the age of 30 remember? Carrying a heavy school backpack.
As tension and microfibers accumulate around the rib cage, the amount of oxygen going to the body is reduced. The problem is that the brain uses 10 times more oxygen than any other part of the body. So, the first part of the body to suffer from reduced oxygen is the brain.
Not only do school grades improve as Somax doubles chest expansion, vital capacity increases as well. The college-age golfer increased his chest expansion from 2” to 4” and his vital capacity increased from 3.02 liters to 4.01 liters—a 33% increase. As the microfibers were released around his chest, he recalled carrying a heavy backpack full of books to school every day.
In addition, work productivity also improves. A runner who worked as a senior software engineer in Silicon Valley reported two promotions and three raises in pay as he completed the Somax four-week program of Microfiber Reduction.
Prichard recommends that all students and workers who carried a heavy school backpack since the mid-90’s should measure the expansion of their stomach, diaphragm and chest with a cloth tape measure when they take a deep breath. They should expand 15% of their circumference. Someone with a 38” chest should expand 5.7” and a 30” stomach should expand 4.5”.
In order to prevent the impairment of another generation of students and workers, Prichard recommends that all school backpacks be required to have hip belts so the large leg muscles can carry the load instead of the breathing muscles, and weight be limited to 10% of body weight.
More information on breathing, oxygen, microfibers and the brain can be found at http://www.somaxsports.com/breathing.php
Bob Prichard is president of the Somax Performance Institute in Tiburon, CA. His athletes have won 44 Gold Medals and set 11 World Records. He served as on-air analyst for NBC Sports Olympics and has written widely on sports mechanics for many magazines. His sports analysis videos on YouTube have over 5.5 million views. He is the author of the forthcoming book Are You Starving Your Brain of Oxygen?
Contact: Bob Prichard
Somax Performance Institute
4 Tara Hill Road
Tiburon, CA 94920
800-2270-6629
bprichard@somaxsports.com
www.somaxsports.com

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2/26/17
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Drop in STEM College Majors Linked to Heavy School Backpacks
A survey from the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) in the US Department of Education shows a precipitous drop in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) college majors between 1996 and 2006. The percentage of undergraduates in STEM fields dropped from 22.8% to just 13.7%--a stunning 40% drop in enrollment.

So, what happened to high school students between 1996 and 2006 that they turned their backs on STEM fields of study?
Heavy school backpacks.
In the mid-90’s manufacturers had to start producing larger school backpacks because students could not fit all of their books in the standard school backpack. Students who entered college in 1996 would not have been affected by this switch to much heavier school backpacks.
But students entering college in 2006 would have been carrying these heavy backpacks for 10 years.
A study published by Hundekari, et. al. in the International Journal of Basic and Applied Medical Sciences in 2013 found a marked reduction in vital capacity in school students while they carried heavy school backpacks. In the table below, you can see that vital capacity in boys dropped from an average of 1.92 liters to just 1.18 liters as their backpacks increased above 30% of their bodyweight—a 39% reduction In vital capacity. Girls dropped their vital capacity from 1.52 liters to 1.02 liters—a 34% reduction.



So, what does carrying a heavy school backpack have to do with STEM majors?
It is widely recognized by students and teachers alike that STEM courses are much tougher than courses in the humanities. When brain power is reduced, students will pick easier majors so they can graduate from college.
Somax Performance Institute increases chest expansion in athletes who complete their program of motion analysis and Microfiber Reduction (a proprietary form of connective tissue massage). As they double their chest expansion, these athletes not only improve their sports performance but their academic performance as well. Young competitive swimmers improve their GPA by a full letter grade, and a college-age golfer went from making C’s to graduating with two majors and two minors with A’s.
As Somax releases the microfibers (mild scar tissue in the connective tissue between the chest muscles) that are restricting chest expansion, athletes often remember what stress caused the microfibers to form in the first place.
What do athletes under the age of 30 remember? Carrying a heavy school backpack.
As tension and microfibers accumulate around the rib cage, the amount of oxygen going to the body is reduced. The problem is that the brain uses 10 times more oxygen than any other part of the body. So, the first part of the body to suffer from reduced oxygen is the brain.
Not only do school grades improve as Somax doubles chest expansion, vital capacity increases as well. The college-age golfer increased his chest expansion from 2” to 4” and his vital capacity increased from 3.02 liters to 4.01 liters—a 33% increase. As the microfibers were released around his chest, he recalled carrying a heavy backpack full of books to school every day.
In addition, work productivity also improves. A runner who worked as a senior software engineer in Silicon Valley reported two promotions and three raises in pay as he completed the Somax four-week program of Microfiber Reduction.
Prichard recommends that all students and workers who carried a heavy school backpack since the mid-90’s should measure the expansion of their stomach, diaphragm and chest with a cloth tape measure when they take a deep breath. They should expand 15% of their circumference. Someone with a 38” chest should expand 5.7” and a 30” stomach should expand 4.5”.
In order to prevent the impairment of another generation of students and workers, Prichard recommends that all school backpacks be required to have hip belts so the large leg muscles can carry the load instead of the breathing muscles, and weight be limited to 10% of body weight.
More information on breathing, oxygen, microfibers and the brain can be found at http://www.somaxsports.com/breathing.php
Bob Prichard is president of the Somax Performance Institute in Tiburon, CA. His athletes have won 44 Gold Medals and set 11 World Records. He served as on-air analyst for NBC Sports Olympics and has written widely on sports mechanics for many magazines. His sports analysis videos on YouTube have over 5.5 million views. He is the author of the forthcoming book Are You Starving Your Brain of Oxygen?
Contact: Bob Prichard
Somax Performance Institute
4 Tara Hill Road
Tiburon, CA 94920
800-2270-6629
bprichard@somaxsports.com
www.somaxsports.com

Photo
Photo
2/26/17
2 Photos - View album

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We are working on our new book based on our accidental discovery that as we released microfibers to increase chest expansion in our golfers, swimmers, runners, tennis and baseball players they not only improved their endurance, but also—to their surprise and ours--improved their mental performance.

After completing his four-week Somax Microfiber Reduction program, a college golfer who had been making C’s all through school, transferred to a more difficult school and not only graduated with A’s, but also with two majors and two minors.

Parents of kids in our swim camps have reported their kids improved their grade point average (GPA) by up to a full letter grade. One proud father reported his daughter even received a A in physics after receiving C’s in her science classes.

A runner who worked as a senior software engineer in Silicon Valley reported two promotions and three raises in pay during his four-week program.

The reason?

He said he was able to solve software problems so much faster than before.

Our book not only will have more inspiring stories of dramatic increases in brain power as we increased breathing ranges, but also includes the results of scientific studies that show the improvement in problem solving with increased oxygen and the damage that low oxygen does to our brains.

More importantly, the book shows you how to measure your breathing ranges to see if restricted chest expansion is also restricting your brain oxygen.

If you don’t want to wait until February to measure your breathing ranges, you can order directions now by going to http://www.somaxsports.com/order.php

You can either order the breathing ranges article, or any of the sport measuring articles, as they all contain directions for measuring your breathing ranges.

Once you send us your breathing ranges, we will be happy to send you some breathing stretches from the book at no additional charge.

You may also want to order our Demonstration DVD’s on the same page just to see how quickly we can improve flexibility with our Microfiber Reduction program.
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Somax Predicted Tiger's Yips Four Years Ago
4 years ago Somax published a video analysis of Tiger's driver swing change and predicted he would develop the yips  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=52-l9ZW60dk
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