A consideration of the paradigm of exercise physiology

Jimmy L. Kilgore, J.S. Baker, Bruce Davies

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review


Exercise physiology, in terms of the history of biological sciences, is quite young and has a rather tumultuous history - as it spans physical education, health & medicine, sport science, and biology. This has led to the development of differing definitions, research approaches, practices and goals. This is easily seen in the presence of competing and non-universally adopted definitions of fitness. Such internal inconsistencies portray to the outside world a discipline experiencing the problems associated with a changing paradigm. Every science requires the presence of a paradigm that both describes and guides the evolution of thinking, experimentation, and the application of such. It is argued here that exercise physiology has been operating without benefit of a satisfactory and relevant paradigm. A further proposition is that the required disciplinary definitions derived from an articulated paradigm are also absent. A paradigmatic scheme based on biological dogma is presented along with proposed definitions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)314-322
Number of pages9
JournalResearch in Sports Medicine
Issue number3
Early online date20 Jun 2014
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Biomedical Research
  • Exercise
  • Humans
  • Physical Fitness
  • Sports Medicine
  • Journal Article


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