Sustainable development in sport and physical activity – perspectives and challenges

The German Journal of Exercise and Sport Research, an up-and-coming international journal (and successor to Germany’s leading national journal in sport science, Sportwissenschaft, 1971-2016) invited authors to contribute articles to the article collection “Sustainable development in sport and physical activity – perspectives and challenges”, which will be published in an issue in March 2024 (Vol. 54, Issue 1).

Sport and physical activity are important enablers of sustainable development. They are seen as drivers for social transformation in terms of health, equal opportunities, or environmental awareness. But sport-related activities also directly contribute to social and ecological problems. The precise role of sport and physical activity for the necessary transformation to a sustainable society is thus unclear, but there is growing evidence for strong synergies between the promotion of physical activity and the sustainable development goals (SDGs), proposed by the United Nations as a framework for future development.

This article collection primarily aims to publish socio-ecological research in sport science. Research investigating interactions between humans and their natural environment, including the link between sport and climate change, planetary health, education for sustainable development, sustainable behavior, sustainable management strategies, civic engagement or political strategies in the sport and physical activity context are highly welcome. Contributions aim to enhance our understanding of the role of sport and physical activity in the societal transformation towards sustainable development and contributes to the implementation of the SDGs in the sport and physical activity context.

This article collection addresses high-quality studies from all disciplines of sport science as well as ecology and climate research, public health, educational science, social and environmental psychology, management or politics. Reviews, cross-sectional studies, longitudinal studies or targeted interventions are as welcome as interdisciplinary, transdisciplinary and transformative research.

Three senior guest editors (Dr. Julia Lohmann, Prof. Dr. Susanne Tittlbach and Prof. Dr. Manuel Steinbauer) provided expert support for all submitted papers. All papers underwent rigorous double-blind peer review.


  • Julia Lohmann

    Research associate at the Chair of Physical Education at the University of Augsburg, Institute of Sports Science; founding partner of sportainable gUG, think tank for sustainable development in sport; She is interested in interdisciplinary and transformative research in educational settings in sport and physical activity, professional development of teachers and multipliers in sport and physical education, health education and education for sustainable development in the context of sport and physical activity.


  • Manuel Steinbauer

    Professor for Sport Ecology and Director of the Bayreuth Center of Sport Science (BaySpo). He is interested in human-biosphere interactions with a focus on outdoor sports in ecological systems. His studies address those processes that build and maintain the diversity of life in a human dominated earth.


  • Prof. Dr. Susanne Tittlbach

    Chair in Social and Health Sciences in Sport at the Bayreuth Center of Sport Science (BaySpo) and Vice President for Digitalization, Innovation, and Sustainability at the University of Bayreuth. She is researching about the health and educational potential of physical activity, its individual, societal, and socio-ecological conditions, and the suitability and impact of participatory intervention approaches for implementing health programs in various settings. Active travel as a healthy and sustainable mode of travel is of particular research interest.


Articles (9 in this collection)