Readspeaker Menü



Hans-Martin Rieger describes, how Victor von Weizsäcker outlined the human´s experience of an ongoing, developing and still unfinished life as "pathic categories" (german: pathische Kategorien). [1]

Victor von Weizsäcker defined five pathic categories. Subjects may say: "I may" (german: Ich darf), "I can" (german: Ich kann), "I want" (german: Ich will, ich möchte), "I shall" (german: Ich soll), "I must" (german: Ich muss). With respect to V. v. Weizsäcker´s "pathic categories" health and disease can only be real, if they are referred to a subjective and practical dealing with health and disease. Vice versa health and disease are not solely a subjective construction. The pathic experience of a still unfinished life of Victor von Weizsäcker corresponds to the anthropological category of being reliant or depend. Hans-Martin Rieger describes the anthropological (not psychological) category as "Angewiesenheit" (being reliant or dependent on something or someone; not only as passive, but also an active sign of being a human being).[2]

Since 2006 the interdisciplinary research group of health, aging and ethics (IFAG; Interdisziplinäre Forschergruppe Altern, Gesundheit und Ethik) at the Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, Germany, developed an orthogonal health model. [3] In 2013 the detailed pre assumptions, baselines and model of health and health promotion have been published. [4] Seven essential items of health are put forward and discussed:

  1. Health as a way of being a human being.
  2. Health as a dynamic spectrum.
  3. Health as self-perception and social perception.
  4. Health as a functioning and handling ability.
  5. Health as a handling ability with what is given.
  6. Health as an ability to deal with what has been withdrawn.
  7. The goal of Health: Being a human successfully.


Sports medicine is a practical science. The sports medical health consultation in an in- or outpatient clinic is at the heart of the practical activities of sports physicians. Sports medical health promotion can be understood as health promotion which primarily uses sports medical methods. But it necessarily also integrates other medical and non-medical methods.

Health promotion from a sports medicine perspective ...
... primarily is a medical perspective.
... shall empower and enable people in health and disease issues.
... deals with movement, exercise, training, sport, physical inactivity and its consequences.
... does not deal with health and disease, but with healthy and diseased people of any capacity, of both sexes, of all ages, with and without disabilities.

Efforts of disease prevention and health promotion are major contributions to maintain or achieve a better quality of life of. The aim of a healthy life style adequate for human beings is dependent on the adequate enhancement of physical, psychological and socio-economical resources. Prevention and health promotion can help to influence individual and social risk constellations positively. A healthy life style enhances the quality of life and is a major contribution to a successful life of healthy and diseased subjects. Part of a healthy life style and the aim of a successful life is to adequately cope with aging, health, disease, handicap, disparity and unsuccessful efforts in prevention, therapy and health promotion.

Criteria of sports medical health promotion are as follows:

  • Adequate understanding of human health
  • Enabling good and right decisions
  • Health relevance
  • Effectiveness
  • Opportunity to empower
  • Ability to act
  • Subject specificity
  • Self-determination (patient)
  • Principle of not harming
  • Welfare principle
  • Principle of justice

On the basis of the beforementioned criteria goals of sports medical health promotion are:

  • Description of the disease and the medical ("objective" findings of the state of performance and function)
  • Reflection of objective findings and subjective perception and evaluation (patient/athlete, physician)
  • Enabling of health-related decisions (strengthening resources, harm avoidance)
  • Recommendations to appropriate physical activity for healthy and sick people
  • Enabling of functioning (e.g. through health counseling, physical activity)
  • Enabling to use skills and empowerment to a healthy lifestyle (e.g., with the highest and lowest performance)

The basic tasks of sports medical health promotion are

  1. adequacy for a humane life of human beings whereever and whenever,
  2. encountering of health experts and subjects asking for help (expert-layperson-relationship,
    good dicision making, humane contribution to a successful life), and 
  3. scientificity of diagnostics, recommendations and actions, taking into account the
    pre assumptive necessities of tasks 1 and 2.

Holger Gabriel (2013): Leistungsoptimierung in der sportmedizinischen Gesundheitssprechstunde. In: Knoepffler N, Editor. Der optimierte Mensch. Kritisches Jahrbuch der Philosophie. pp. 141-160.

Health_consultation_Kant_Appearance.005 Kopie



[1] Hans-Martin Rieger (2007): Der ewig unfertige Mensch - Medizinische und theologische Anthropologie im Gespräch. BThZ 24 (2), pp. 319-341.

[2] Hans-Martin Rieger (2008): Altern anerkennen und gestalten - Ein Beitrag zu einer gerontologischen Ethik. ThLZ.F, pp. 154.

[3] Hans-Martin Rieger (2008): Gesundheit als Kraft zum Menschsein - Karl Barths Ausführungen zur Gesundheit als Anstoß für gesundheitstheoretische und medizinethische Überlegungen. In: Zeitschrift für evangelische Ethik, Jg. 52, Heft 03, pp. 183-188.

[4] Hans-Martin Rieger (2013): Gesundheit - Erkundungen zu einem menschenangemessenen Konzept. ThLZ.F 29, Leipzig, pp. 240.