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How Much Sport is there in Sport Physiology?: Practice and Ideas in the Stockholm School of Physiology at GCI, 1941–1969
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, History of Science and Technology (name changed 20120201).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2914-4476
2013 (English)In: International Journal of the History of Sport, ISSN 0952-3367, E-ISSN 1743-9035, Vol. 30, no 8, 892-913 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The physiology research at the Royal Central Institute of Gymnastics (Swedish acronym: GCI) in Stockholm was never primarily focused on sports, but has made significant contributions to sport and exercise physiology. Changing ideas about the human body (from form to motor) during the early twentieth century led to criticism towards the posture-oriented Ling gymnastics. The rationalisation movement of the 1930s and onwards also paved the way for a rationalistic physiology research. GCI recruited Eric Hohwü Christensen (1904–1996) from Copenhagen for the new position as professor in physiology in 1941. Christensen built his research programme on the ideas of the Copenhagen School, focusing on basic research, bodily limits and rationalisation of exercise. The majority of research at GCI focused on basic physiology, and the main goal was to rationalise the exercise of the entire population, which was in line with the ambitions of the emerging Swedish welfare state.

But applications in elite sports became a claim to fame for GCI through names such as Per-Olof Åstrand and Bengt Saltin. This article aims at showing how the research programme was outlined during Christensen’s professorship, 1941–1969. How does a scientific environment focused on basic, physiological research become famous for its impact in sports?

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London: Routledge, 2013. Vol. 30, no 8, 892-913 p.
Keyword [en]
rational training; exercise physiology; Eric Hohwü Christensen; GCI; Sweden; welfare state
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-122973DOI: 10.1080/09523367.2013.784274ISI: 000319377400005ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84878742688OAI: diva2:624136
Rationell träning. Vetenskapliggörandet av träning för längdskidåkning
Swedish National Centre for Research in Sports

QC 20130603

Available from: 2013-05-30 Created: 2013-05-30 Last updated: 2016-10-17Bibliographically approved

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