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Physical Fitness

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Functional health; Habitual performance; Physical capacity; Physical condition


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...

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4419-1005-9_1167
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Physical Fitness, Fig. 1

References and Readings

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  • Larson, L. A. (1974). Fitness, health, and work capacity: International Standards for assessment. New York: Macmillan.

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  • 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.

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Correspondence to Nerissa Campbell .

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© 2013 Springer Science+Business Media, New York

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Campbell, N., De Jesus, S., Prapavessis, H. (2013). Physical Fitness. In: Gellman, M.D., Turner, J.R. (eds) Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine. Springer, New York, NY.

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