The Necessity of Physical Activity in Kinesiology Degree Programs

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The term “the practice of physical activity” was recently introduced as one of the four elements of the American Kinesiology Association undergraduate core curriculum. The purpose of this article is to articulate the nature of the term by offering a philosophical justification (other than health) for including physical activity coursework and/or experiences in kinesiology degree programs, specifying a definition of physical activity, and examining what it means to “practice” physical activity. Using three major themes from the relevant literature and a clarified meaning of the term, it is concluded that to practice physical activity means to participate in dance, exercise, games, play or sport regularly with the intent to maintain or improve fitness or skill proficiency. Two approaches — (1) physical activity for fitness and health and (2) physical activity for skillful performance — are presented to guide the curriculum design process in kinesiology.