Balls, Barbells and Sock Poi: The Progression of Keeping Fit


  • Stephen Smith Simon Fraser University


Fitness, Life Stages, Continuum, Curriculum


While fitness is defined in keeping with the necessary physiological and morphological capacities to engage in vigorous physical activity, there tends to be a weighting of cardiovascular capacity, muscle strength and endurance, joint flexibility and low body fat that is in keeping with elite performance in a restricted range of competitive sports and artistic disciplines. The inherent ageist bias of fitness definition becomes readily apparent when desirable, vigorous physical activities are considered across a life span and where fitness, so physiologically and morphologically defined, is regarded in inevitable, age-referenced decline. A supplementary view is taken in this paper, with fitness being defined more broadly as the requisite functional capacities, movement capabilities and activity disposition to engage in a very wide array of physical activities that will appeal differently across the life span. Focusing on the life stages of childhood, late adolescence and early adulthood, and middle to later adulthood, I portray individual, social and ecological aspects of keeping fit that can be incorporated in school curricula to better realize lifelong health and wellness goals.

Author Biography

Stephen Smith, Simon Fraser University

Associate Professor, Faculty of Education






Feature Articles / Articles de fond