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February 25, 1933


JAMA. 1933;100(8):578-579. doi:10.1001/jama.1933.02740080042012

The evolution of a mechanized society, about which so much is heard at the present time, has brought about changes in the physiologic functions of the man of today as well as in his economic relationships. Hard physical work, once the lot of the majority of people, is gradually being relegated into the category of the less usual experiences of daily life. As a consequence the bodily conditions formerly resulting so largely from muscular work as a part of the customary routine of living are now being developed through voluntary exercise and athletics. It has been stated1 that athletics consist of physical exercise plus more or less of emotional exercise, while work is likely to involve less and less of the emotions.

A modicum of muscular effort—of work—has always been regarded as wholesome to the healthy organism. There is a widespread belief that certain physiologic advantages and desirable bodily