What is Kinesiology?
Kinesiology can be defined as the study of the movement of the body. Kinesiology encompasses studying many different topics, including but not limited to: physical activity, health and wellness, sports science, nutrition, and sport and exercise psychology. This field of study offers many career options due to its interdisciplinary history. Scholars who are passionate about science, are enthusiastic about fitness, and find enjoyment in helping others are encouraged to consider this field. Scholars interested in a career within kinesiology have multiple levels of education that they can pursue to earn various degrees based on their career goals. At the undergraduate level, scholars can choose between the BA, a degree that offers a greater emphasis on liberal arts, or the BS, a more in-depth approach to science topics. Students who aspire to work in a clinical, healthcare, or rehabilitation setting may find the BS most optimal.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates substantial job growth in fields related to kinesiology over the next several years. Many of the career options in this field require advanced degrees from the graduate or professional school level—specialization paths may vary. For example, specialization in the field of sports and exercise psychology would lead a student to a graduate school program for a Master or Doctorate program, compared to a physical therapy specialization leading to the pursuit of a doctorate in physical therapy. Masters programs often require two years to complete. The coursework required to earn a Master’s degree will be interdisciplinary similar to the Bachelor's; however, the specialization will highlight a concentration based on the specific major. The type of Doctorate earned is based upon what role the professional would like to pursue. The Ph.D. is the path best fit for scholars who want to conduct research and stay within academia, whereas professional school is more attractive for practitioners who aspire to work in the field more hands-on.
Certifications and licensure are encouraged, and at times required in order to practice and grow within the field. Choosing what certification or license to earn will be determined based on what specialization was chosen and laws within each state. Below you can find resources that provide additional information on some of the popular career options that kinesiology majors pursue after completing their undergraduate degree.
American Kinesiology Association – https://www.americankinesiology.org/
What is Occupational Therapy?
Occupational Therapy is the only profession that helps people across the lifespan to do the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of daily activities (occupations). Occupational therapy practitioners enable people of all ages to live life to the fullest by helping promote health, prevent or live better with injury, illness, or disability. Occupational therapists work in a variety of settings including schools, hospitals, long term, and skilled nursing facilities, outpatient clinics, home health care, community, and mental health.
Occupational therapy services may include comprehensive evaluations of the client’s home and other environments (e.g., workplace, school), recommendations for adaptive equipment and training in its use, and guidance and education for family members and caregivers. Occupational therapy practitioners have a holistic perspective, in which the focus is on adapting the environment to fit the person, and the person is an integral part of the therapy team.
Occupational therapy—a vibrant, growing profession—makes it possible for people to achieve independence and to enjoy life to its fullest. By choosing a career in occupational therapy, you will make a difference! Per the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of occupational therapy practitioners is projected to grow 18% between now and 2028. In 2019, the median annual wage was $84,950.
Becoming a Personal Trainer
What is a Personal Trainer?
A personal trainer is an individual who has earned a certification demonstrating a level of competency for creating safe and effective exercise programs, catered specifically to an individual. Personal trainers work one-on-one with a client to develop and implement a fitness regimen that helps them lose weight, get stronger, improve physical performance, or maintain their health--based upon their personal goals, skill level, and health needs.
Kinesiology is the study of the movement of the body. A good personal trainer is someone that knows how to get the body to transform. With that, the trainer has to have an understanding of basic kinesiology principles to get the best results and to help reduce the risk of injury. Without this general knowledge of kinesiology principles, a trainer would not be able to do their job effectively.
Doctorate of Physical Therapy
What is Physical Therapy?
The field of physical therapy is an ever-evolving job in healthcare. As research enhances the need for and effectiveness of physical therapy, the demand for it grows. Physical therapy started as a woman's only profession due to there being a need for reconstruction aides to help with wounded soldiers following WWI and WWII. In many instances, there is a misconception that the field is male dominant; however, it is heavily saturated by females.
Physical therapists are movement specialists who focus on not only rehabbing their patients but also improving their quality of life. Physical therapy is big on optimal wellness. Through patient education, exercise, and hands-on (manual) care. There are various settings to the profession in terms of the work atmosphere. Physical therapy has but is not limited to an outpatient setting, inpatient setting--which has subsections of its own: acute, subacute, long term inpatient rehabilitation, sports rehab, neuro rehab, schools, skilled nursing facilities, aquatics, and more. Over the course of the last few years, physical therapists have gained the privilege to work independently of primary care physicians due to the direct access bill. While not in all 50 states, this bill allows patients to cut out doctor's visits and come straight to the physical therapist.
Physical therapists are responsible for:
Notes to communicate with the physicians and insurance
Progression of therapy
Regression of therapy
Discharge from therapy
American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)
National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA)
National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA)
Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP)
American Psychological Association, Division 47 (APA)
American Society of Biomechanics (ASB)
American Physical Therapy Association (APTA)
American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA)
Contributions by: Ninah Bertrand, MS; Jaye Allen, MS; KeyAna Washington; Brittani Parchment, CPT and Tiara Cates, DPT Candidate