Are you asking yourself why study kinesiology in 2022? There are so many options within the sciences, and it can be a daunting task trying to narrow down a list of career paths. And the COVID pandemic has thrown many of our plans off course. But rest assured, this blog post will help you decide if a kinesiology degree, or a bachelor of science in kinesiology (aka: BSc human kinetics, BSc Kin, BHKin) is right for your studies.
If you’re active and curious about conditioning or rehab, you’re comfortable on sports teams and working among athletes, or you simply want to be part of a growing healthcare profession, kinesiology might be perfect for you.
Kinesiologists work with people who have physical limitations and help them improve their skills and abilities. They also work with athletes to make sure they are performing at the top of their game. Read on to discover what kinesiologists do, how kinesiology relates to medicine, specialties within kinesiology and job prospects for kinesiologists.
1. Kinesiology is a Viable Career on its Own
Kinesiology is the study of human movement. Think of it as exercise science to enhance the wellness and wellbeing of an individual or population. College university departments are science hubs, professors and graduate students research the human body to prevent health issues and improve public wellness.
Kinesiologists use their understanding of anatomy, physiology, biomechanics and motor control to analyze and improve human movement. Kinesiology careers have a kinesiologist in a a variety of settings, including hospitals, rehabilitation clinics, sports teams, schools and research laboratories.
2. Kinesiology is a unique health profession
In a clinical setting kinesiology is different from massage therapy, chiropractic physiotherapy by being an active therapy. Active therapy means that clients are not lying or sitting to receive treatment as they would with a massage therapist, but they are physically active.
A bachelor of science in kinesiology prepares graduates for services jobs including delivering ergonomics, rehab after car accidents or sports injuries and personal training and conditioning for athletes.
3. Kinesiology Provides a Foundation for other Health Professions like Physiotherapy or Medicine
There are two main similarities between kinesiology and medicine, they are both fields in health and they are based on scientific principles. In kinesiology you will study anatomy, physiology and neurology, which are all important topics to people entering medicine. Students pursuing a kinesiology major get experiential learning opportunities.
That hands-on experience in combination with biomechanics, anatomy and science classes makes kinesiology an excellent premed. In fact, it's very common for a doctor to have completed a kinesiology as an undergraduate before entering medical school, especially sports medicine.
Why study kinesiology while working towards another health practitioner program?
A bachelor's degree in kinesiology teaches students to develop hands-on wellness and rehabilitation skills that apply to medicine, as well as other grad programs such as physiotherapy and occupational therapy. You do not need a kinesiology undergraduate to become a physiotherapist or doctor, but it is one of the primary majors chosen for that purpose.
4. There are many specialties within kinesiology
There are three main kinesiology related topics: kinesiology research as a profession, kinesiology-based sports performance and kinesiology-based rehabilitation. In each of these domains, there will be more specialization of kinesiologists that work in those areas.
From physical education to athletic training, the kinesiology department in universities teach people a broad skillset to prepare kinesiology majors for a range of kinesiology careers.
Exercise science courses offer students fitness knowledge, and hands-on experience is available through sports activities on campus. The exposure and experience gained in your undergraduate will allow you to focus and shed light on specialties within kinesiology and a future career path.
5. Kinesiology scientific research is expansive
Research usually accompany a master's degree or PhD in kinesiology, but undergraduate programs also support students in research and health promotion activities. It is common for undergraduates to perform research during their program. For information on research and graduate studies, make sure to check out our interview with Dr. Eli Puterman at UBC school of Kinesiology.
6. What you can expect to learn in a kinesiology program
Kinesiology is the study of human movement and aims to teach students about how muscles work, how bones move and how joints function. As a kinesiology student, you can expect to learn about fitness, nutrition, mental health and the human body.
In the final year of a kinesiology degree the kinesiology department might go beyond teaching and offer hands-on education such as research or workplace experience to prepare for kinesiology careers. Co-op programs that provide students with work placements also provide valuable work experience. Make sure to check courses you will be expected to complete to graduate from your chosen kinesiology program.
7. Kinesiologists are an active bunch
And education doesn't stop in the classroom, as universities offer students a range of recreational activities and opportunities for athletic training with sports teams. For example UBC's legendary outdoors club (VOC) is a group where students who pursue a career in health sciences can incorporate what they learn from courses into their lifestyle.
8. Job prospects for kinesiologists
A bachelor of science in kinesiology opens graduates to a wide range of job opportunities. Some of the most common positions include personal trainers, fitness coaches and rehabilitation therapists.
According to the US Bureau of Labour Statistics, exercise trainers are in the top 10 growing fields for the current decade. Add that to the high demand for rehabilitation therapists and the result is that there are many jobs available for kinesiology graduates.
Kinesiologists can also work in research or teaching physical education in k-12 schools. Careers in research at a university are a way for graduates to affect public health and population-level fitness. Any given university department in Canada has professors, students and researchers engaged in scientific studies aimed to grow our collective health and fitness knowledge and enhance public wellbeing.
Graduates of kinesiology programs have many job opportunities available to them including training, rehab, research and teaching. Once students register with their association they are able to use the title of "kinesiologist" as a therapist. If a career in health interests you a kinesiology program is a strong choice.
Kinesiology is a great program to study if you are interested in a career helping people stay healthy and active. The techniques that you learn in kinesiology can be used for a lifetime to maintain your health and well-being. In addition, kinesiologists have many job opportunities available to them once they register, so they can find a career that they love. Make sure to read our blog on the top 5 universities for kinesiology undergraduate degrees.