The long-awaited answer to a question posed by many. The majority of people may not know what kinesiology is, let alone the services a kinesiologist is able to offer. The British Columbia Association for Kinesiologists (BCAK) states “kinesiologists utilize the science of human movement to provide services that deliver quality solutions through prevention, objective assessment, and evidence-based intervention”(1), but what exactly does that mean? This article aims to cover the broad scope of a practicing kinesiologist, some frequent questions I have been asked, and highlight some reasons why you may want to include a kinesiologist on your healthcare team.
Let’s start by defining kinesiology as a health care modality. Kinesiology is the study of human movement. A kinesiologist is a movement specialist capable of utilizing an array of assessments and services to aid with injury/illness prevention and rehabilitation, strength and conditioning, and workplace adaptation. Most of the time, kinesiologists will use various forms of exercise as a therapy or preventative measure to address the concerns of the client.
So, you’re a personal trainer?
No, but not exactly no.
With extensive training in biomechanics, functional anatomy and exercise physiology, kinesiologists are movement experts. Extensive training and research about the human body not only allows kinesiologists to help clients build their fitness at a recreational level, but yields more experience in clinical scenarios as well, such as: injury rehab, disease management, or ergonomics. Personal trainers are similar in the fact that they know how to build the fitness of an individual, but they lack clinical experience and further knowledge of human anatomy/physiology. Kinesiologists can provide the same services as a personal trainer, but a personal trainer cannot provide the services of a kinesiologist.
What else could a kinesiologist offer me?
Kinesiologists have a very broad scope of practice. Below is a list from the BCAK(1) outlining the different ways a kinesiologist could help with your concern.
- Fitness and health assessments and exercise prescription.
- Postural assessment and education on how to make improvements.
- Athletic training, exercise therapy and interventions
- Therapeutic application of heat and cold
- General nutritional counselling
- Ergonomics – Adapting a workplace to better suit the needs of a client
- Limited mobilization, manual therapy and manipulation
- Completion of insurance assessment forms – for example, completing a form for WorkSafe BC or ICBC.
Are you covered by extended health benefits?
Whether kinesiology is covered by your extended health benefits is entirely dependent on your plan provider and the coverage that you are allotted. More and more benefit plans are starting to cover kinesiology as they realize the benefits, and outcomes, it provides. My advice would be to check with your provider to find out your coverage. In the past, I have seen that kinesiology and physiotherapy are sometimes grouped together in coverage, which can often be missed!
I hope that this article may help with some of the questions you have regarding kinesiology as a healthcare modality. If you still have questions, feel free to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will provide more answers there. I look forward to seeing you soon.
BCAK Practicing Kinesiologist
- British Columbia Associations for Kinesiology. (2015, October). Kinesiology Scope of Practice, Reserved acts and Delegation (including guidelines).