This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.
What is physical fitness? Is it the ability to resist fatigue? Is it longevity or is it muscular strength? Or is it a combination of these and perhaps other ingredients? Many discussions of physical fitness neglect to define accurately the standards and aims of physical fitness programs. Physical fitness is neither a fixed standard nor an average but rather an objective. A man of 20 to be physically fit should be able, perhaps, to carry a 40 pound pack 20 miles in eight hours; at the age of 14 or at 50 the same man probably would not be able to perform this task, and yet he could be considered physically fit. A farmer of 45 should have a different standard of physical effectiveness than a politician of the same age. The standards of physical fitness are different for men and for women. As a group, women have less muscular
STANDARDS OF PHYSICAL FITNESS. JAMA. 1944;126(17):1088. doi:10.1001/jama.1944.02850520030014