Arthur H. Steinhaus

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Arthur H. Steinhaus (October 4, 1897 – February 8, 1970) was an American physical fitness and sport physiologist.


Steinhaus was born in Chicago, Illinois on October 4, 1897. He received his B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago (1919–1928) in zoology and physiology and his B.P.E. and M.P.E. from George Williams College in physical education (1915–1926).[1]


For fifty years, 1915–1965, Steinhaus was associated with George Williams College as a student, teacher, Dean, and finally Dean Emeritus. After his retirement as Dean Emeritus, he was appointed Distinguished Service Professor by the Chicago College of Osteopathy on limited assignment to the Department of Physiology, and then served as a visiting professor at Michigan State University from 1966-1969. He taught in summer and evening sessions at the Universities of California, Colorado, Wisconsin, Saskatchewan, Southern California, and Northwestern. He served appointments as Fulbright Professor to Germany and Japan, did research in Germany and Denmark, and lectured in Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and Malaysia.


In 1944 Steinhaus was on leave to serve as Chief of the Division of Physical Education and Health Activities in the US Office of Education. During the war he was a Civilian Advisor to the US Navy on matters of physical fitness and physical rehabilitation. He conducted research on the physiology of exercise and spent a year in Europe as a Guggenheim Fellow[2] in the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation . He was President of the American Academy of Physical Education from 1943-1945. His writings appeared in purely research journals such as the American Journal of Physiology, in professional journals such as the American Journal of Public Health, and in popular magazines such as Coronet and Look.[3][4]


He died on February 8, 1970 in Lansing, Michigan.

Research interests[edit]

After 1923, he was interested in research to disclose the effects of habits of living on health and well-being. "Habits of living" include eating, drinking, exercising, fatigue, rest, relaxation, smoking and various emotional states.[5] In later years his interest centered on interrelationship of mind and body with emphasis on mental health and "total fitness." A good deal of his scholarly work was directed toward interpreting the findings of research for the average practitioner in physical education—a kind of "middleman" function.[6] There are occasional internet references to Steinhaus' "Peripheral Heart Action" system of circuit-style training (exact reference lacking). It is also possible that Bob Gajda, a Mr America/Mr Universe title holder in the 1960s used this system of exercise and bodybuilding[citation needed].


Arthur H Steinhaus papers are located in the Special Collections of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (MS.0914 (more than 30 linear feet)[5] and MS.1127.[7] Two well-developed and extensive Finding Aids[6] have been prepared, which includes a biographical summary, quoted above, with permission of J. B. Beals (e-mail April 3, 2012). Link to finding aid for M.S. 1127 [2]

Sample Publication[edit]

Tobacco and Health: Some Facts About Smoking (New York: Association Press, 1942) Smoking and Health Full text available via HathiTrust

Theses and dissertation[edit]

  1. Master of Physical Education, Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) College, 1926. "Graduation thesis in candidacy for the degree of MPE. "The influence of physical work on the basal metabolism"[11]
  • PhD, University of Chicago, 1928. Dissertation: "Studies on the physiology of exercise"[12] and Crerar Library, University of Chicago, record.[13]


  1. ^ Contemporary Authors -- Permanent Series (in two volumes) (Gale: Detroit, MI, 1975–78), vol. 1, p. 600
  2. ^ "Arthur H. Steinhaus 1931 - US & Canada Competition Natural Sciences - Molecular & Cellular Biology". ohn Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.
  3. ^ "Dogs which pinch-hit for men". The American Magazine. USA. 108: 74. October 1929.
  4. ^ "How much and what kind of physical exercise should a business man take for his health and pleasure?". Vital Speeches of the Day. 22: 408–411. April 15, 1956. Speech delivered before the Economic Club of Detroit, February 13, 1956
  5. ^ a b "Tobacco and health; some facts about smoking, by ... . Steinhaus, Arthur H., 1897-1970". HathiTrust.
  6. ^ a b "Author: Steinhaus, Arthur H., 1897-1970". The Tennessee University.
  7. ^ Finding Aid, Arthur H Steinhaus Papers, MS-0914. [1] University of Tennessee, Knoxville Special Collections]
  8. ^ "Reaction time as an index to the state of fatigue of the nervous system : graduation thesis in candidacy for the degree of Bachelor of Physical Education".
  9. ^ "The influence of exercise on the basal metabolic rate".
  10. ^ "Crerar Library record, University of Chicago". Archived from the original on August 15, 2013. Retrieved August 15, 2013.
  11. ^ "The influence of physical work on the basal metabolism : graduation thesis in candidacy for the degree of Master of Physical Education".
  12. ^ "Studies in the physiology of exercise. I. Exercise and basal metabolism in dogs ..."
  13. ^ Archived August 15, 2013, at the Wayback Machine)