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What is a Kinesiologist?

Mary McMahon
By
Updated Mar 02, 2024
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A kinesiologist is someone who specializes in the study of human movement. The field of kinesiology is sometimes known as biomechanics, referencing the idea that it has a heavy focus on looking at the mechanical aspects of human movement, such as the musculoskeletal system and the way in which it works. This field views the body as an interconnected system, and examines the ways in which people move to see how people injure themselves, develop strong bodies, and engage in dance, play, and other types of movement.

People in this field can apply their training in a number of ways. Some kinesiologists work on designing environments and furniture which are meant to work with the human body to promote healthy movement. A kinesiologist might consult on the design of a workplace, workout equipment, or furniture to create a design which will not injure people, for example. Kinesiologists can also work with physical therapists and rehabilitation specialists to help people recover from physical trauma and surgery, using their training in human movement to develop an exercise program and to help the patient retrain his or her body to cope with an injury.

Helping people learn to move properly is an important part of this field. A kinesiologist can show someone various ways to work with the body, rather than against it, and to use the body as a tool to support various tasks. Kinesiologists demonstrate proper stretching and bending, good practice for heavy lifting, and other types of movements for their clients so that they can reduce the risk of injury and strain.

Some kinesiologists work in a field known as applied kinesiology, which involves the application of human kinetics to various medical conditions. This field of alternative medicine is viewed with skepticism by some people, and it combines chiropracty, Traditional Chinese Medicine, and several other fields of alternative medicine. According to people who practice applied kinesiology, many systemic problems can be addressed by making adjustments to the body and retraining people to move safely and properly. This field may also be applied to disease prevention.

In order to become a kinesiologist, someone must obtain a four year degree in human kinetics. The degree includes training in anatomy and physiology, with a focus on looking at how the musculoskeletal system works. Pay scales in this field vary, depending on the type of specialty someone chooses; physical therapy and rehabilitation, for example, tends to pay better than working as a kinesiologist in a public health initiative which is designed to reduce the risk of injury in a community.

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Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a Practical Adult Insights researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments

By anon317600 — On Feb 03, 2013

Can a kinesiologist help attention deficit teens?

By bear78 — On May 02, 2011

My church says that applied kinesiology is similar to other practices like muscle testing. We are told not to believe in it and not to accept this treatment because the results are manipulated by the practitioner.

I think that kinesiology is an official science and I don't there is any harm in it. But I guess applied kinesiology is very different and lots of people can practice it.

I still would like to know what people think about it though. Has anyone had applied kinesiology treatment? Have you benefited? Or is it really bogus as some claim?

By discographer — On May 01, 2011

@anon158209-- If the problems are due to the inappropriate use of the body and incorrect movements, I'm sure seeing a kinesiologist would help.

If nothing else, a kinesiologist can help prevent the problems from becoming worse, or from new problems arising. When you learn how to use your body the right away, the pain and damage to the skeletal system should be relieved somewhat.

My mom had a neck problem and the kinesiologist found out that it was due to the weakness of her neck muscles and lifting heavy items incorrectly. She has been doing exercises to strengthen her muscles which has relieved her pain.

By serenesurface — On Apr 28, 2011

Kinesiologists can work as coaches and personal trainers too. In fact, I think that they must be excellent in these fields because they can use their knowledge about the musculoskeletal system to teach people how to train their bodies for sports and as a lifestyle.

Of course, being involved in sports might require some other kind of training or experience in the education field. But I would have a lot of confidence in a coach or personal trainer with a background in kinesiology.

By anon158209 — On Mar 06, 2011

will seeing a kinesiologist help someone with back problems, like disks, stenosis, etc. thank you.

Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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