Considering a complemental model of health and fitness


Address for correspondence: Ross D. Neville, College of Arts and Tourism, Dublin Institute of Technology, Cathal Brugha Street, Dublin, Ireland


This article examines the concept of fitness, which, in spite of its much avowed cultural significance, has become the subject of much critical attention. In particular, it considers the now contested relation of fitness to health; the fact that, although there appears to be a clear consensus on a simple causal relation between the two, this has been deemed illusory outside the medico-scientific context of its production. In response to the problems with both of these positions, this article examines the potential for reconfiguring the relation between fitness and health on new terms. A complemental model of health and fitness is proposed; one that strives to account for the body’s objective and subjective dimensions and for those intermediary varieties of experience that lie in between.