Fostering Physical Activity Values in the World of the Future

Earle F. Zeigler


The author argues that we are using human physical activity well in some ways, but that we are also abusing it badly in others! In the case of competitive sport, he believes that we gradually and increasingly abused it over the course of the twentieth century. However, he is not against sport! He is arguing that, employed properly and correctly, sport–as one of a number of vital social forces (e.g., nationalism, ecology)–could contribute to the improvement of the current situation in human health enormously. Additionally, in the case of related physical activity (i.e., regular exercise or “physical activity education”) in the developed world, he believes humans are too often “abusing it by first not understanding it, and then by not using it more intelligently”! (Ironically, in the “undeveloped world,” people often get too much “exercise” just to stay alive!) Moreover, he believes that the active use of competitive sport worldwide to promote what have been called moral values–traits or attributes leading to world peace and good will-as opposed to so-called socio-instrumental or material values-are overly self-serving. This would tend to create a social force of such strength and power that humankind might be helped as it confronts the social and physical devastation looming ahead. 

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International Journal of Kinesiology and Sports Science

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