Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine

2013 Edition
| Editors: Marc D. Gellman, J. Rick Turner

Physical Fitness

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-1005-9_1167



Physical fitness is one’s ability to execute daily activities with optimal performance, endurance, and strength with the management of disease, fatigue, and stress and reduced sedentary behavior.


Physical fitness has multiple components and is conceptualized as either performance- or health-related. The specificity of performance-related fitness regarding one’s athletic skill best relates to an individual’s athletic performance. Conversely, health-related fitness is generalized to health status and is affected positively or negatively by one’s habitual physical activity habits. Given the complexity of physical fitness and the epidemiological analysis taken presently, health-related fitness will be the focus of this discussion.

There are five major components of health-related fitness: morphological, muscular, motor, cardiorespiratory, and metabolic (see below), with muscular...
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References and Readings

  1. Bouchard, C., Blair, S. N., & Haskell, W. L. (2006). Physical activity and health. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetic.Google Scholar
  2. Bouchard, C., & Shephard, R. J. (1994). Physical activity, fitness and health: The model and key concepts. In C. Bouchard, R. J. Shephard, & T. Stephens (Eds.), Physical activity, fitness and health, International Proceedings and concensus statement (pp. 77–88). Champaign: Human Kinetics.Google Scholar
  3. Caspersen, C. J., Powell, K. E., & Christenson, G. M. (1985). Physical activity, exercise, and physical fitness: Definitions and distinctions for health-related research. Public Health Reports, 100(2), 126–131.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Larson, L. A. (1974). Fitness, health, and work capacity: International Standards for assessment. New York: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  5. Warburton, D. E. R., Nicol, C. W., & Bredin, S. S. D. (2006). Health benefits of physical activity: The evidence. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 174(6), 801–809.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Exercise and Health Psychology LaboratoryThe University of Western OntarioLondonCanada
  2. 2.University of Western OntarioLondonCanada