Physical Activity, Growth, and Functional Capacity

  • Robert M. Malina
Part of the NATO Advanced Study Institutes Series book series (NSSA, volume 30)


Physical activity subjects the organism to a variety of stresses which give rise to measurable physiological and biomechanical respon­ses. The magnitude and degree of response varies with the duration, intensity, and perhaps timing of the activity stimulus. The responses generated via regular physical activity initiated during childhood are believed by many to result in favorable influences on the organism during growth and into adulthood (Espenschade, 1960; Malina, 1969a, 1975a; Bailey, 1973; Rarick, 1974; Bailey et al., 1978). Some of the effects of regularly repeated physical activity on the growing organism are considered subsequently. Nevertheless, the precise role of properly graded activity, training or exercise programs in influencing growth and development is not completely understood, and the results of studies are equivocal. The terms activity, exercise and training are used as being synon­ymous, although they are variably used in the literature.


Physical Activity Endurance Training Physical Training Regular Physical Activity Maximal Oxygen Uptake 
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© Plenum Press, New York 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert M. Malina
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyUniversity of TexasAustinUSA

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