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Movement for life and health: African lessons

LAM Publications Limited
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  • Economics
  • Psychology


Although natural scientifically orientated, evidence based, health promoting, physical activity programmes regularly appear in international television in all countries on planet earth, very few people adhere to such programmes, especially in such economically less developed regions as Africa and India. Personal, social and cultural meanings of human movement, sport and exercise differ dramatically world wide and amongst different cultures and age groups. The focus of this article is on experiential, social and cultural ways in which movement may promote life and health. Ancient patterns of African communal life involve healthy, breath-coordinated movements and gestures in a mutual reciprocity of person-world relations. Traditional Zulu cultural forms of human movement, which promote life and health, such as play, martial arts and dance, remain widely practised, especially in rural areas of South Africa. Members of African Indigenous Churches build and impart communal spirituality through rhythmic dancing in healing circles. The psychology of such community healing through movement is of an original and universal form, as conveyed by the Greek concept of psyche or the South African Nguni concept of umoya, involving breath, soul and spirit. Such holistic African lessons teach movement for life and health, while empowering people to become more truly and fully human. br> African Journal for Physical, Health Education, Recreation and Dance Vol. 13 (1) 2007: pp. 1-16

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