Dr. Dudley Allen Sargent was born in 1849, and died in 1924. He was a pioneer in physical education at Harvard University. At a time when the concept that physical education is beneficial to health and well being was being introduced, Sargent added scientific research to fitness instruction. He held four terms as president of the American Physical Education Association. Sargent saw benefits in all programs in physical education, and taught them all at his Normal School and at Harvard Summer School. His long association with Harvard included his years as Director of the Hemenway Gymnasium at Harvard from 1879 to 1919. During this time, he also established and taught at the Harvard Summer School of Physical Education.
Sargent was an early innovator in physical education. The Sargent Test bears his name, though it is more commonly known as the vertical jump test nowadays. He also invented many kinds of exercise equipment that are in use in gyms today.
Sargent also had a great interest in anthropometry, and is known for his anthropometric charts for the plotting of the physical development. He went to great lengths to research the perfect proportions of the human body, using his Harvard and other connections to research participants and collect anthropometric data, resulting in a huge collection of more than 10,000 assessments.
- Handbook of developing exercises. Boston: Franklin Press. (1886)
- The physical proportions of the typical man, Scribner's magazine, Vol. II, July 1887
- The Sargent anthropometric charts: Descriptive circular. Cambridge, MA (1893)
- Universal Test for Strength, Speed and Endurance (1902)
- Health, Strength and Power (1904) , published by H. M. Caldwell co., New York, Boston.
- Physical Education, Boston: Ginn & Company. (1906)
- The Physical Test of a Man. American Physical Education
Review, 26, 188-194. (1921)
- Dudley Allen Sargent: An Autobiography (1927)
- Vertical Jump or Sargent Jump Test
- Anthropometry Charts
- More Fitness Testing History
- A discussion about the various vertical jump equipment available
- Apparatus for sale in the vertical jump store