“Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity.” ~ John F. Kennedy

A Look Back into History: The Federal Government Takes on Physical Fitness

Physical fitness is often in the news today, but it has long been a national concern. New programs to help keep Americans fit were a hallmark of John F. Kennedy’s administration.

After World War II, many Americans worried that U.S. citizens, especially the young, were growing overweight and out of shape. The nation’s economy had changed dramatically, and with it the nature of work and recreation changed. Mechanization had taken many farmers out of the fields and much of the physical labor out of farm work. Fewer factory jobs demanded heavy labor. Television required watching rather than doing. Americans were beginning to confront a new image of themselves and their country, and they did not always like what they saw.