Thursday, June 19, 2008

Thank Gyrations

Thank Gyrations It's Thursday

Yes today we use Gyrations as our G word, because it has been fifty years since the introduction of the "Hula Hoop". Wham O the company that manufactured the Hula Hoop and sold it for an introductory price of $1.98 back in 1956 sold over 100 million of these devices to one in every two Americans gyrating at that time.

Elvis Presley was also doing his gyrations fifty years ago and in 1956 hehas several hits including: Heartbreak Hotel; I want you, I need you, I loveyou; Don't be cruel/Hounddog; and Love me tender. Given we discuss thermodynamics in this blog I will set out to analyze how many calories are burned using the Hula Hoop as an exercise device. There is an official web site for hooping. Pray that you don't cough at the sametime and then suffer from hooping cough (of course I know it is spelled whooping cough). A ten minute exercise with a 3 pound hula hoop consumes 100 calories.

The flimsy plastic hula hoops of the 1950s only weighed three ounces but still required a good deal of gyration so I estimate a 10 minute hulahooping effort back in '56 burned half as much energy as the modern 3 pound hoop, and equaled 50 calories 50 calories equals 200 BTUs. The heat of combustion of polyethylene approximates 20,000 BTUs per pound, therefore the 3 ounce hoop if used as a fireplace fuel will provide 3,750 BTUs or almost 19 times as much of theenergy used in the ten minute whooping exercise. If a person hooped 190 minutes a day they would burn off energy that is equal to combusting the plastic in the hoop. Pretty good stuff considering plastic has the same fuel value per unit mass as does gasoline.

In researching this episode I found a very interesting site that will calculate the amount of calories one burns by providing your mass and minutes of exercise. The calculator then spits outs calories burned for over 100 different exercises.