The Science of Physical Exercise: Old and New Problems


  • A. Oña


The relationship between scientific knowledge and physical activity has had a problematical historical trajectory. In this paper we tried to identify the obstacles that have made the integration of both fields difficult. We began by identifying four basic problems: the identification of the goals of a particular study, the departure from scientific knowledge to study physical activity, the institutional marginality of both fields of study, and the professional merit in the field. After defining these four problems, we reviewed the evolution of occidental thought to identify the cultural dualism that originally gave rise to the problems. Thereafter, we examined the characteristics of scientific knowledge and the relation of physical activity with respect to them, following Kuhn's categories ( 1975 ). Additionally, we tried to identify the keys of social change produced by thought on physical activity in the last two last decades, identify changes in the attitudes and habits of the general public, as well as those in the institutional integration in the university. Finally, we wrote a series of proposals to overcome the resistance that remains derivative of the old problems in establishing physical activity as a scientific area.
KEY WORDS: Sport Sciences, Physical Activity Explanations, Study Object, Scientific Knowledge, Intitutional Situation


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