Low Body Weight May Be Risky for Female Runners’ Bones

iStock
iStock

What’s good for the track team may not be so great for the runner. A new study published in the journal Current Orthopaedic Practice concludes that female runners with lower body weight are both more susceptible to bone injuries and slower to heal.

The idea that thinness equals health is of the biggest health misconceptions out there. It’s certainly among the most harmful. Discrimination against overweight people limits their access to jobs, health insurance, and good medical care, while doctors can overlook illness in seemingly "healthy" thin people.

On top of that, it’s simply not true. Some studies have found little correlation between body mass index (BMI) and health, while others suggest that being overweight may even have a protective effect against certain diseases.

And, as the authors of the current paper discovered, having a low BMI can carry risks of its own. The researchers, all from the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, had set out to investigate which factors, if any, could make runners more vulnerable to stress fractures in their bones. For three years, they interviewed and examined every female track and field athlete who arrived in their medical center with a stress fracture. They saw a total of 18 athletes, with 24 fractures among them.

Closeup of a doctor examining a woman's lower leg.
The Ohio State University

Some of those fractures were worse than others. Some took longer to heal. And some athletes seemed more prone to getting injured all over again. Those athletes were the thinnest—specifically, women with a BMI under 19.

The "normal" range for BMI starts at 18.5 and goes to 24.9, which means that women on the low end of "normal" can still face a higher risk.

Coaches consider low weight a good thing because it can increase a runner's speed. But there’s only so much fat a person can burn. After a while, these athlete’s bodies start burning muscle, too. And that, lead author Timothy Miller says, is where the trouble can begin.

"When body mass index is very low and muscle mass is depleted, there is nowhere for the shock of running to be absorbed other than directly into the bones,” he said in a statement.

While BMI may be a notoriously unreliable indicator of health, Miller says it’s "imperative" that women know theirs and "work to maintain a healthy level," he added. "They should also include resistance training in their training regimen to strengthen the lower leg to prevent injury, even if that means adding weight from additional muscle mass," Miller said.

This Nifty Potato Chip Bag Hack Is Amazing the Internet

Keep that crispy, crunchy freshness inside the bag—no tools needed.
Keep that crispy, crunchy freshness inside the bag—no tools needed.
etiennevoss/iStock via Getty Images

If you don’t have enough chip clips to keep your snack bags shut—or if you have a habit of misplacing them—there’s no shortage of household items you can use instead. Clothespins, binder clips, rubber bands, and ponytail holders all get the job done, and you could even use an especially durable paper clip or bobby pin in a pinch.

But, as many people on the internet just discovered, all you actually need to seal your half-eaten bag of potato chips is the bag itself. Last week, actor and host of Bravo’s Top Chef Padma Lakshmi posted a video on Twitter of her tightly closing a bag of Fritos without any makeshift chip clips.

First you fold the two sides of the bag down as far as they’ll go, so the top of the bag is shaped like a triangle—similar to how you’d wrap a present. Then, roll up the bottom of that triangle a few times until you’ve created a pocket, under which you can tuck the triangle’s point. After that, simply roll the top of the bag down a few times, and you’ve successfully sealed the bag.

At the end of the video, Lakshmi turns the bag upside down and gives it a few shakes to show everyone just how secure it is. She tweeted the hack with the caption “How am I just finding out about this now?” and, considering that the video has been viewed more than 10 million times, it’s safe to say that she’s not the only one who didn’t know about the hack.

Wondering what other life hacks you might be missing out on? Find out how to chill a soda in three minutes, remove scratches on CDs, and more here.

6 Fun Backgrounds to Use on Your Next Video Call

You might be stuck in the living room, but it doesn't have to look like it.
You might be stuck in the living room, but it doesn't have to look like it.
Ridofranz/iStock via Getty Images

If you’re struggling to find a perfectly decorated wall in your house to serve as the backdrop for your video calls with friends, family, and coworkers, we have good news: Video conferencing platform Zoom lets you customize your very own virtual background.

To do it, log into your Zoom account, go to “Settings” on the left side of your screen, and choose the "Meeting" tab. Scroll down to the “In Meeting (Advanced)” section, and then scroll down farther to make sure the “Virtual background” option is enabled. After that, open the Zoom application on your desktop, click on the “Settings” wheel in the upper right corner, and go to “Virtual Background.” There are a few automatic options, but you can choose your own image from your computer files by clicking on the plus-sign icon.

Now, the only thing left to do is decide which image will best set the tone for your next video call. From the New York Public Library’s Rose Reading Room to Schitt’s Creek’s Rosebud Motel, here are six of our favorites.

1. The Rosebud Motel lobby from Schitt’s Creek

schitt's creek rose motel lobby
It's not the Ritz-Carlton.
CBC

You can imagine that David is just out of frame, doing his best to carry on a silent—albeit with lots of expressive gesturing—conversation with Stevie at the front desk. (More Schitt's Creek backgrounds here.)

2. Carl and Ellie’s house from Up

carl and ellie's house from up
Balloons not included.
Walt Disney Pictures

If you’re hoping to create a calming atmosphere, look no further than the cozy little sitting room where Carl and Ellie grew old together in 2009's Up. (More Pixar backgrounds here.)

3. The attic study from Knives Out

knives out attic study
Nothing bad has ever happened here.
Lionsgate

If your own study isn’t quite teeming with intriguing souvenirs and leather-bound volumes, feel free to borrow this one from the mansion in 2019’s Knives Out. (More Knives Out backgrounds here.)

4. The USS Enterprise from Star Trek

star trek's uss enterprise bridge
A great way to get your coworkers to fess up to being huge Trekkies.
TrekCore.com, Twitter

Blame your spotty internet connection on the fact that you’re traveling through the galaxy at the speed of light with this background from the bridge of Star Trek’s USS Enterprise. (More Star Trek backgrounds here.)

5. The New York Public Library’s Rose Reading Room

new york public library reading room
You reserve the right to shush any coworkers who forgot to mute themselves.
New York Public Library

Bibliophiles who can’t make it to the library can still pay a virtual visit to the sumptuous Rose Main Reading Room at the New York Public Library’s iconic Fifth Avenue location. (More New York Public Library backgrounds here.)

6. The Werk Room from RuPaul’s Drag Race

rupaul's drag race werk room
Sashay away from the screen if you're taking a bathroom break during the call.
VH1

Dazzle your coworkers by calling in from the vibrant room where all the magic—and most of the drama—happens on RuPaul’s Drag Race. If you happen to be decked out in an ensemble made entirely of things you found at the Dollar Store, even better. (More RuPaul's Drag Race backgrounds here.)

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER