What is Kinesiology?
Kinesiology is the study of human body movements. We will discuss that is Kinesiology a hard career option in 2021 in this article. It addresses biomechanical, physiological, and psychological principles along with mechanics of movement (Biomechanics).
Kinesiology applications in human health comprise rehabilitation, physical education, and sports and exercise industries. The word Kinesiology comes from “Kinesis” which means “Movement” and “Logy” which means “Study”.
Kinesiologist is not a licensed or professional designation in the United States of America. A person with a degree in Kinesiology can work as a teacher of physical education, as a personal trainer, as sports coaches, conduct research, provide consulting services, and develop policies related to rehabilitation programs, ergonomics, and occupational health and safety.
The key principle of kinesiology is adaptation through exercise to improve health and wellness in a clinical setup. Exercise is used as a simple intervention for a lot of movement disorders as well as musculoskeletal conditions due to any underlying medical pathological condition.
Exercise interventional programs in kinesiology that is used on patients for their recovery from an underlying medical condition can be:
- Aerobic exercises: Exercises that are performed in the presence of oxygen mainly help in improving cardiovascular endurance are called aerobic exercises.
- Anaerobic exercises: Anaerobic exercises are those exercises that are performed in the absence of oxygen. They are used to improve the strength of the individuals.
Scope of Kinesiology practice
Kinesiologists work in a variety of roles in the healthcare industry. They can work in hospitals, clinics, and private settings as rehabilitation providers.
Kinesiologists provide rehabilitation to injured patients, patients having musculoskeletal conditions, cardiac conditions, and neurological conditions. They can also work as exercise therapists, ergonomists, functional assessment specialists, and medical-legal evaluators.
The field of Kinesiology is filled with immensely growing job prospects. To be a kinesiologist an individual requires a background in a health-related area. They can also alternatively fulfill the requirement of having a background in a health-related area with the necessary work experience and skills. After attaining a few years of experience in diverse profiles under the Kinesiology field, an individual can also get involved in areas like sports coaching and policy analysis.
Several healthcare departments require kinesiologists. Here are some of them:
- Sporting Goods Stores
- College Athletic Departments
- Marketing & Public Relations Firms
- U. S. Olympic Training Center
- Professional Sports Organizations
- National Amateur Sport Governing Bodies
- Campus Recreation Departments
- Fitness Clubs, Spas, Sports Clinics
- Community Recreational Programs
- Sports Medicine Clinics
A career in Kinesiology offers plenty of rewarding opportunities although it is considered a niche career option by most. Kinesiology is an emerging field in the healthcare sector with growing advances in the health and fitness domains.
Is Kinesiology a hard career option?
Earning a Kinesiology degree requires an interest in human anatomy and biology. It does not involve much hard science as the other health science degrees do. To be a successful Kinesiology major, one must have a good grasp of social science and know-how to work well with people.
A degree in Kinesiology is as rigorous as any other science degree. Kinesiology is highly focused on the musculoskeletal system of the human body and its anatomy.
Kinesiology is an easy course that is comprised of the study of human movement and various factors, systems, and principles in human development. This also involves psychological and social factors that can influence physical activities and sports performance.
The Kinesiology course at school prepares the students for university degree programs in kinesiology, physical education, and sports administration.
Kinesiology Majors have to take anatomy and physiology during their course which involves studying and memorizing each bone and muscle of the human body. This study also involves the study of various physical forces acting on the body and the response of the human body to the forces as well.
Though the study of Kinesiology requires a detailed study of the human body and its biomechanics, it cannot be considered a hard study.
The study of Kinesiology can be done at the bachelor’s, Master’s, and doctoral levels. Kinesiology is the study of human movement and the actions of the muscles in response to the forces acting on it. This is a great study program for an individual who wants to pursue his career in the healthcare sector, physical education area, and fitness sector. The study can be done as:
- Associate Degree in Kinesiology
An associate degree in kinesiology is best for those individuals who want to pursue entry-level work in the fitness sector. The associate degree is usually for around 1 to 2 years duration depending on whether the individual continues the course full-time or part-time. The course syllabus of this degree comprises introductory anatomy, exercise science, physiology, and human psychology.
An individual graduating with an associate degree in kinesiology program can easily move towards working as fitness consultants, instructors, and personal trainers. Kinesiologists pursuing this degree can also work as massage therapists as well as physical therapists.
- Bachelor’s Degree:
A Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology takes around four years to complete. This degree course goes into depth of the study of human movement and exercise than any other associated degree.
During this degree course, students learn how physical education educators, fitness trainers, and therapists use exercises as forms of medicine for the treatment of patients suffering from various conditions.
The bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology includes Women’s health, principles of motor skills, and exercise physiology as main topics. Main concerns during the bachelor’s degree program include physiology, physical education, and health and fitness.
This course is for students who want to pursue their careers in the field of healthcare. Students who want to become certified athletic trainers or want to work as physical education teachers should pursue this bachelor’s degree course.
Students possessing a bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology can work in clinical settings, community recreation, etc.
- Master’s Degree:
A master’s degree in Kinesiology takes 2 to 3 years to complete. This degree is best for future coaches, certified trainers, and sports administrators.
The master’s degree program comprises topics related to physiology, clinical aspects of exercise science, kinesiology, and advanced sports medicine during the course duration.
During the Master’s degree program, students get a chance to explore advanced biomechanics of human motion, the history and philosophy of sports, and various issues in athletic training. Main concerns during the course comprise exercise physiology, and sports medicine, and management.
A student who attains a Master’s degree in Kinesiology can get employment in various areas. They can work as:
- Strength and training coaches
- Athletic program administrators
- Exercise Physiologists
- Athletic Administrator
Students who complete graduation in kinesiology can also pursue a postgraduate study in kinesiology and physical therapy.
- Doctoral Degree:
A doctoral degree in kinesiology is for those who have a keen interest in research and education. This doctoral degree in kinesiology course is for four years duration and it covers advanced topics in exercise physiology, biomechanics, and research methodology for kinesiology.
Students with a doctoral degree in kinesiology can pursue further specialization like rehab science, motor control, and sports psychology.
The doctoral degree in Kinesiology requires a dissertation based on research during the course duration. The students having this degree can work as kinesiology research scientists, sports psychologists, and university professors.
- Kinesiology Licensure
At present, there are no well-recognized general license programs for professionals of kinesiology. But, a lot of career fields under the field of kinesiology have specific requirements for licensure.
If an individual wants to work as an athletic trainer, he is required to obtain a license to work. In almost every state, athletic trainers are required to attain licensure by earning the credential of a certified athletic trainer from the board of certifications.
A large number of undergraduate kinesiology majors can pursue their careers in the field of physical therapy. This career option requires a doctoral degree and a license to work. Students pursuing physical therapy as their career are required to obtain a doctorate in the physical therapy field and a doctorate in kinesiology is not qualified for physical therapy licensure.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Is there any difference between Physical Therapy and Kinesiology?
Kinesiology is the study of human movement and the biomechanics of the movement of the human body. A kinesiologist uses exercises to enhance the wellbeing of an individual and is more holistic than Physical Therapy. It is aimed at addressing general movement issues and does not require a doctoral degree.
On the other hand, the profession of Physical therapy consists of using special equipment, manual therapy, and medical imaging to improve mobility of the patient and treatment of various pathological conditions.
- What jobs in Kinesiology make the most money?
The job that pays the most to its employees is those in the field of administration in fitness, health and wellness, and sports. The Kinesiologists working as sports managers, athletic directors, and fitness managers also get paid higher than those working in other fields.
If one has chosen to major in the Kinesiology field, one must have a keen interest in sports, movement of the human body, and physical performance. Well paid career options are therein:
- Physical therapy: After doing a degree in Kinesiology, a person can pursue his career in Physical Therapy which is a lucrative career option. Physical Therapy involves a vast area of kinesiology in their study curriculum. They apply their kinesiology knowledge in the treatment program for their patients with better prognoses. The average pay in this field is around $122,650 annually.
- Occupation Therapy: Occupational therapists also use hands-on techniques to rehabilitate patients with various disorders and disabilities. An occupational therapist helps his patients in regaining the skills needed for activities of daily living. The average pay in this field is around $120,440 annually.
- Physical Education teacher: Apart from being in the healthcare sector, a kinesiologist can also build his career in the teaching sector. The average pay in this field is around $95,380 annually.
- Sports Marketing: A keen interest in sports and recreation can help a kinesiologist to build a career in this field. The average pay of a kinesiologist in this field is around $132,230 annually.
- Is a kinesiology degree worth it?
A degree in kinesiology is best for a person who possesses a keen interest in using exercise education and biomechanics as a tool to help people recover from their injuries or any other conditions. For individuals like these, a degree in kinesiology is worth it as it helps them fulfill their passion.
- Can kinesiologists be called doctors?
No, kinesiologists cannot be called doctors. Kinesiologists usually call themselves “Kinesiologists” or “Clinical kinesiologists”. Most confusion arises when a non-professional kinesiologist claims to be an applied kinesiologist as they use something resembling applied kinesiology.
- Can Kinesiologists work in hospitals?
A person who has pursued his career in kinesiology also specializes in rehabilitation. These individuals can assist their patients in regaining their optimal physical function and are also capable of working at their homes, rehabilitation centers, fitness facilities, hospitals, and various healthcare worksites.
Kinesiologists also work along with Occupational therapists and physical therapists.
Hard work is required to pursue a career in the field of Kinesiology. Kinesiologists are of great importance in the healthcare sector. They are concerned with the study of human, human movement, and various forces acting on the human body which is called biomechanics.
Physics and Anatomy are two basic parts of Kinesiology. A person who wants to be a kinesiologist should have immense love for treating patients through exercises that are prescribed by analyzing the biomechanical principles behind the injury or any pathology.
One of the good things about being a kinesiologist is that the person pursuing a kinesiology degree is not limited to just one career path after earning his bachelor’s degree. They can pursue their career in various industries other than healthcare like education and sports.
Pursuing a kinesiology degree is not hard. But having specific skills and interest is a must to be a successful kinesiologist. Depending on the interests, students who take kinesiology as their career can pursue exercise science, fitness, and sports management.