We are searching data for your request:
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.
Some kinesiology grads earn an advanced degree in physical therapy.
If you want to turn your love of fitness into a career, colleges and universities offer a variety of majors in the area of exercise. Depending on the school, possible fields of study include exercise physiology, kinesiology and movement science. Exercise physiology and kinesiology, although related, aren't exactly the same. Kinesiology is a broad discipline which encompasses many other related subjects, including exercise physiology.
The American Kinesiology Association, AKA, defines kinesiology as an academic subject that examines physical movement and its effects on "health, society and quality of life." The University of Michigan School of Kinesiology defines it briefly as, "The study of human movement." According to the AKA, kinesiology is among the fastest-growing academic majors. Undergraduate and graduate degrees are available, including doctorates.
Kinesiology is interdisciplinary and includes classes in numerous sub-specialties. Some of these, such as biomechanics and sociolocultural foundations of sports, form the theoretical underpinnings of the major. Others, such as athletic training, physical education and sports medicine, emphasize practical applications. Exercise physiology is only one of many disciplines under the umbrella of kinesiology, which also includes sports management and physical education teacher training. Students usually study all the principal areas in a typical undergraduate program. However, some undergraduate colleges offer specialized majors -- for example, in athletic training or exercise physiology.
Exercise Physiology Definition
By the AKA definition, exercise physiology is one branch of the broader discipline called kinesiology. The American Society of Exercise Physiologists, ASEP, provides a detailed definition. Exercise physiology is the study of the physiological basis of movement and the implementation of treatments to improve and maintain health and fitness and facilitate rehabilitation from injuries and disease. The emphasis of this definition is on the applications of physiology for practical purposes. Sample classes in an undergraduate major include anatomy and physiology, exercise testing and strength and conditioning.
According to the ASEP, an exercise physiologist is a health care worker who has passed the Exercise Physiologist Certified exam from the ASEP or who has a degree in the subject. A certified exercise physiologist is qualified to test a person's fitness scientifically and design a customized exercise regimen, for example. Exercise physiologists work for hospitals, colleges, the military, business wellness programs, fitness clubs and athletic programs. Competition for jobs is keen, however. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 9 percent growth for the profession between 2012 and 2022, compared to 11 percent for all jobs.
Other Kinesiology Careers
Kinesiology graduates can pursue approximately 30 different careers, not just exercise physiology. Depending on your interests, possible jobs with a kinesiology major include aquatics director, athletic biomechanist, school coach, athletic trainer, personal trainer and sports journalist. Many related careers require additional study and licensing -- for example, physician, chiropractor, respiratory therapist and registered nurse. The job outlook varies with the career choice, but the BLS predicts 13 percent growth for fitness trainers between 2012 and 2022 and 21 percent growth for athletic trainers.
- Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images