Total Therapy Blog
What is a Kinesiologist?
Chances are you’ve heard of the study of kinesiology and people who call themselves kinesiologists, but what do these terms mean? What do these professionals do?
The Study of Kinesiology?
Kinesiology is an academic discipline which involves the study of physical activity and its impact on health, society, and quality of life (UBC Kinesiology Program). It is also simply defined as, “the science of human movement.” Kinesiology students strive to understand the cellular to societal implications of physical activity, nutrition and lifestyle as well as optimize health, prevent injury and illness, and extend the years of high quality life (University of Waterloo). In simpler terms, kinesiology focuses on preventative healthcare. In practice, the area of kinesiology covers a wide range of disciplines (British Columbia Association of Kinesiologists – BCAK) including:
- Injury rehabilitation/exercise therapy
- Ergonomics/human factors
- Active health and fitness
- Biomedical applications
- Rehabilitation equipment and technology
- Research, disability/case management
What is a Kinesiologist (Kin)?
A kinesiologist is a health professional (also known as a human movement professional) registered with their provincial kinesiology association. Kinesiologists are human movement specialists that provide services to the public through the application of sciences such as anatomy, physiology, biomechanics, and psychomotor behaviour (BCAK). Practitioners are required to have completed four-year university kinesiology degree (or equivalent). Kinesiologists must abide by standards set by their provincial association which vary province to province (BC Standards). Ontario is the first province to recognize kinesiologists as regulated healthcare providers, similar to physiotherapists or nurses (College of Kinesiologists of Ontario).
Kinesiology solutions are delivered through prevention, objective assessment, and evidence-based intervention (BCAK). They key words here are “evidence-based.” Kinesiologists can specialize in different areas (considering the broad scope of study) but will always apply research to real-world settings.
The practical experience of a kinesiologist plays a big role in defining their area of practice. For example, a graduate who is experienced in workplace ergonomics will have different skills than one who is experienced in exercise prescription.
When should you seek out the services of a kinesiologist?
Kinesiologists cover the spectrum of rehabilitative and wellness services from the active rehabilitation of an injury through to high-performance training. Many people will be referred to a kin after seeing a physiotherapist or chiropractor to begin active rehabilitation (exercise). This involves learning proper movement mechanics, fixing muscle imbalances and building an overall strong and healthy body.
On the other end of the spectrum, you may be looking to improve your health and are considering hiring a personal trainer. A kinesiologist will use an educated and evidence-based approach to build your fitness safely targeting long-term results. If you are looking to improve athletic performance or break through training plateaus a kin will apply advanced knowledge of biomechanics to take your training to the next level.
At Total Therapy we are proud to be leaders in the evidence-based practice of kinesiology. Our kinesiologists apply the latest research to provide the highest quality of treatment. Whether you’re recovering from an injury or are looking to improve your fitness, we can safely and efficiently help you achieve your goals.
This article was contributed by our resident kinesiologist Derek Smith, BSc.Hons(Kin). Derek is a kinesiologist with a BSc Honours Kinesiology from the University of Waterloo with an advanced diploma in Fitness and Lifestyle Management from George Brown College.
“Taking the “guess work” out of health and fitness by using an evidence-based approach is important to me. I try to empower clients to achieve the greatest results by teaching them the fundamentals of how the body works and how to develop ultimate performance. I believe that this leads to efficient training, high self-confidence and better long-term results.” -Derek Smith, BSc.Hons(Kin)