A New Definition of Physical Activity

The term physical activity has been used in health and fitness literature since the 1800s. The definitions attributed to it are too narrow, and it has tended to be classified by anatomical and physiological aspects. This article argues for a more comprehensive understanding of physical activity. It also presents a definition that takes into account the complex, holistic elements of physical activity. Consequently, this article proposes a revised definition of physical activities.

Emphasis on interdependence is essential for improving health

This revised definition highlights the social, biomechanical, and physiological aspects of physical activity. In addition to these three elements, it accounts for the environment and human experience in the definition of physical activity. This approach has also been shown to facilitate a range of new ways of thinking about physical activity. It stresses interdisciplinarity, which is essential in advancing the field of health. However, it may encounter significant resistance, as its definition is considered orthodox.


The expanded definition of physical activity emphasizes the importance of people moving, performing, and interacting, in culturally specific contexts and environments. The definition accounts for the multifaceted, human, and cultural aspects of physical activity. In addition to focusing on the biomechanical and physiological aspects of physical activity, this definition also incorporates cognitive and affective components. It also emphasizes the need to socialize in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle. So, a well-rounded definition of physical activity is required to ensure that the health of people is maintained.

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