What is kinesiology?

Kinesiology refers to the study of physical activity. In American higher education, the term is used to describe a multifaceted field of study in which movement or physical activity is the intellectual focus. Physical activity includes exercise; activities of daily living; work, sport, dance, and play for improvement of health and physical fitness. It often involves special populations such as children and the elderly; persons with disability, injury, or disease; and athletes. Kinesiology can include many specialized areas of study in which the causes and consequences of physical activity are examined from different perspectives.

The specialized areas of study apply knowledge, methods of inquiry, and principles from traditional fields of study ranging from the natural to the social sciences. Areas of investigation typically include: exercise physiology; biomechanics; history and philosophy of sport; sport and exercise psychology; sociology; movement science; neuroscience; recreation; pedagogy; sport management; and sports medicine. An interdisciplinary approach involving several of these areas is often used in addressing problems of importance to society.

The study of kinesiology can lead to a variety of professional careers in teaching, research, coaching, and delivery of services related to physical activity and fitness, recreation, health promotion, rehabilitation, sports medicine, and allied health. Career advancement includes professional occupations in a variety of settings including schools, colleges and universities, public and private agencies, clinical environments, government, business, and the military.


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Last modified on 1/24/2014