Different Body Types and Benefits

Different Body Types and Benefits

There are three main body types or somatotypes. Generally no-one fits exactly in one category however people tend to be mainly in one in particular.

Somatotype Description


Only a small amount of fat or muscleNarrow body shape and thin faceTypical of long distance runnersMuscularWedge-shaped body with wide shoulders and narrow hipsTypical of sprinters

More fat on the body

Pear-shaped with wide shoulders and hips

Typical of weightlifters and wrestlers

The sport an individual practises will have a big influence on their somatotype.

There are a number of factors which dictate what a person’s body weight should be and how well someone will perform at a particular sport, including:

  • age
  • gender
  • height
  • bone size
  • muscle size

Personal hygiene

Within sport, personal hygiene is not only important for aesthetical reasons but it can also be important for performance and bad personal hygiene could lead to infections, usually of the fungal variety.

There are a number of ways in which an individual can ensure good personal hygiene, like washing after physical activity, changing clothes on a regular basis, brushing teeth twice a day and cutting their finger and toe nails.

Health and fitness

Regular exercise is very important for well-being. As well as having a huge physical impact it’s also good for people’s mental and social wellbeing, as can be seen from the table below:

Type of benefit Improvements


Confidence increasesHelps to relieve stress and tensionEnhances co-ordinationWeight lossAn improvement in postureBetter body shapeBecome more agileRecognise the quality of movement when performing

Meet new people

Make friends

Might need to co-operate with others

Competition pushes people to test themselves

There are also reasons and benefits for choosing a particular type of sport:

Skill Activity type Type of success
Outwitting opponentsRepeating an action, phrase or sequence accuratelyExploring and being able to communicate different ideas, emotions and conceptsBeing able to perform at the optimum level in relation to height, strength, accuracy, speed and distance

Being able to identify and solve problems in order to overcome challenges

Exercising in a safe and effective way in order to improve health and well-being



Personal survival and life saving

Adventure activities

Fitness and health activities

Overcoming opponents through direct competitionBeing able to accurately repeat actions, phrases or sequencesHow able a performer or choreographer is able to express their ideas, emotions and concepts to their audienceBeating a personal best score or time, or beating that of others in competition

Overcoming challenges

Being able to improve health and well-being

Fitness is one aspect of health. Being healthy is being in a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being. Fitness, on the other hand, is someone’s capacity to deal with effort, exercise or daily demands with some level of comfort. They’re not the same thing: you can be fit but not healthy or healthy and not fit.

Someone’s fitness capability can be defined as how well certain components of their body cope with physical exertion, either separately or combined with other components. These components include:

  • speed
  • strength
  • power
  • agility
  • balance
  • cardiovascular endurance/stamina
  • muscular endurance/stamina
  • co-ordination
  • timing
  • reaction time
  • flexibility/suppleness

Having a healthy lifestyle doesn’t necessarily mean working out at the gym every day. You can have a healthy lifestyle through:

  • manual labour
  • being in employment that requires you being on your feet constantly
  • working outdoors
  • walking or cycling to work or school
  • taking part in practical leisure pursuits