Kinesiology is the study of the mechanics of human movement. This study requires knowledge in several scientific disciplines. A kinesiologist will often have studied anatomy and physiology, as well as other sciences like biology and psychology. There are a lot of considerations when looking at the movement of the human machine, and a well-rounded understanding of science helps the kinesiologist see human movement from many different perspectives.
What do kinesiologists do?
Kinesiology impacts many different aspects of our lives, and so we can find kinesiologists in all sorts of places. There are many vocations available for one who studies this discipline. Here are a few examples:
- Health and fitness – Kinesiology, being about movement, is often concerned with getting the body in shape and keeping it in shape so that it continues do move in the most optimal way. When you are in great shape, your overall health is benefited. You’ll find kinesiologists as fitness trainers, yoga instructors, and people who develop overall health and fitness programs.
- Rehabilitation – Despite our best efforts, the body does not always function in an optimal way. Sometimes, due to illness or injury, the body’s function is impaired. A kinesiologist can often be found in a rehabilitation center, using their skill and knowledge to help people restore their body after injury or illness.
- Sports – Professional athletes need to be in the best shape at all times. Some kinesiologists work directly in the sports industry helping athletes recover from injury and stay in great shape
- Ergonomics – In this field, a kinesiologist tries to optimize and office or industrial environment in order to create a safe and comfortable work atmosphere and reduce the chance of injury.
What kind of degree do I need?
The type of degree you get really depends on how you plan to use it. Some personal trainers and fitness instructors can get started with a simple certification program. For many others, more education may be required. Those working in the rehabilitation field, for example, will likely need at least a bachelor degree to begin their career. Others, may require graduate level degrees. Some combine kinesiology with another discipline, like nursing, to become more specialized.
How do I find the right school for me?
There are several things to consider when searching for a school. The list below is not exhaustive, but reflects some of the top factors students tend to use in making a decision.
- Cost – While not always the most important on the list, cost is definitely an important factor in choosing a school. It is important to understand the total cost to attend the school and what grants and scholarships may be offered to offset those costs.
- Location – For many, where they go to school is important. Some want to stay close to home. Others want to attend college out of State. Still others consider where they would like to start their careers when choosing a school location. This can be an important consideration for kinesiology, since there are often internships involved with degree programs. Internships provide experience, but they also provide opportunity to get to know others in the field, which could lead to career opportunities locally.
- Reputation and Accreditation – You want to choose a school that has a good reputation for transitioning students from their program into the workforce. A school with a high percentage of graduates who continue on to work in their field is very desirable. Accreditation is important because an accredited school must adhere to certain educational standards for the degree they offer. Graduating from an accredited school will give your future employers the peace of mind that your education met certain requirements.