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What is Kinesiology?

By Brendan McGuigan
Updated Mar 02, 2024
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Kinesiology is the study of the various disciplines that encompass the movement of the human body. There are two forms: pure and applied. Pure kinesiology seeks to understand human movement in order to analyze problems and come up with treatments for these problems. Applied kinesiology is a specific method to treat these problems.

Rather than a single discipline, kinesiology is an umbrella class of study that covers many different areas. The primary focuses are human physiology, biomechanics, and anatomy. Study of this field may also cover the psychology, philosophy, ecology, and even sociology of sports and exercise.

This means that, while studying kinesiology, a student will get a broad understanding of most things that can relate to human movement. By studying anatomy, the student learns about the various parts of the human body — where bones are, where muscles attach, the locations of organs, and other locative information. By studying physiology, he or she learns how these various parts of the human body move and interact with one another. By studying biomechanics, the student takes this to the next level, using principles of engineering to gain a better understanding of human physiology and the limits of the system.

To further improve the understanding of human movement, a student of kinesiology may study related disciplines as well. Since a kinesiologist may often be called upon to deal with athletes or gym patrons, an understanding of the philosophy, psychology, and sociology of sports and exercise is often studied. This allows professional to make sure he or she can help the client get the most out of an exercise regimen, or bring a sport to the next level.

The study of kinesiology is used in many different fields. Often, gym employees will have a degree in this subject in order to better help their patrons. Physical therapists may have undergone substantial kinesiology training so that they can help their patients recover more quickly. Sports teams will employ a number of kinesiologists to help their athletes maximize the use of their bodies, prevent severe injuries, and contribute to the overall health of the team. In this context, it is very similar to the study of sports medicine.

Kinesiology is an exciting, dynamic field that is undergoing a state of renewed energy. Demand for trained professionals is increasing across the board, as the use value becomes more widely appreciated. The human body has a very complex mechanical structure, and finding specialists who have specifically studied this nuanced interaction can yield amazing results.

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Discussion Comments

By anon115810 — On Oct 04, 2010

my gym and health teacher is a kinesiology major, and he has a high degree in it. i have a question concerning kinesiology. Why would a kinesiologist become a health/gym teacher, and how does teaching health/gym has anything to do with kinesiology?

By justyna — On Oct 31, 2008

it depends on what you are looking to do, kinesiology is a health science discipline with many branches. kinesiology is very broad w/ multiple layers, a bachelor degree is a start but the specialization you have in mind would delegate what (if anything) you need to do after.

By anon4401 — On Oct 16, 2007

How many levels does one need to cover to get certified and how much can one earn?

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