Relationship Between Physical Activity, Health and Quality of Life from the Perspective of the Hippocratic Theory

  • Walter N. Toscano
Part of the International Handbooks of Quality-of-Life book series (IHQL)


The place assigned to physical activity within the Hippocratic concept of díaita (diet) reflects the significance of the subjects’ behavior through time; moreover, that their attitudes have always been based on the practice of games and sports – clear indicators of the life styles of the different ancient cultures.

According to the Hippocratic Theory, every human being’s díaita consisted of five components, namely: nutrition (food and drinks); physical exercise (gymnastics, outings, rest, baths); professional and social activity; characteristics of the place they lived in (geography and climate); and the changes of phýsis determined by age, sex, customs, and the varying complexions of the body. This implies that the implementation of a diet required a life-style assessment which – faced with the impossibility of modifying the subjects’ place of residence or profession – had to be limited to working on their own nutrition, physical exercise, and features.

A glance at today’s studies on quality of life reveals that the latter not only include indicators related to sports and physical activity, but also consider these practices of the utmost importance. It ought to be made clear that our concept of quality of life implies the citizens’ participation in the assessment of their concerns, thus contributing to their own well-being – from a physical-psychological perspective – relating their material and socio-affective needs.

In this presentation we shall approach physical activity related with health in terms of a theoretical proposition of quality of life, as a multidimensional concept that includes the subjects’ perceptions of their own lives. This task will require an inter-discipline multi-faced approach, as well as contextualization of our analysis of quality of life – from a Hippocratic perspective, i.e. including climate, geography, economic and political conditions, in the study of each of the subjects. In this regard, and though twenty five centuries have gone by, we may assert that the Hippocratic Theory is still as updated as it was then.


Physical activity Health Quality of life Hippocratic theory 


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Walter N. Toscano
    • 1
  1. 1.Physical Education ProgramDepartment of Humanities and Social Sciences. Universidad Nacional de La MatanzaSan JustoArgentina

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