A kinesiologist is a physician who typically specializes in physical therapy or sports medicine as related to human movement, and they work primarily in hospitals, other health care facilities, and private practice during regular daytime hours; however, some who work in hospitals may be on-call during extended hours. Aspiring kinesiologists should earn a four-year premedical degree with a focus on human anatomy, kinesiology or physiology. Upon graduation, a master’s degree or national certification within the field should be pursued.
Kinesiologists typically work on teams with other medical professionals, and work with athletic trainers, as well. They may have one of a variety of specialties within their field, such as: exercise kinesiology (focusing on the impacts of physical exercise on the human body), psychomotor kinesiology (neurology and motor skills associated with the body), biomechanics kinesiology (body movements during injuries) or ergonomic kinesiology (training individuals regarding body movements).
Those in this position have a number of responsibilities, including working with the rehabilitation of physical injuries, understanding the overall capabilities of patients and training them in various body movements, ensuring proper training and understanding of injuries, designing exercise schedules, and many more. Above all, kinesiologists must have excellent bedside manner and a thorough understanding of their patients and their abilities. They must serve as natural motivators and possess expert interpersonal communication skills, as well.
Provide clients with guidance and information about techniques for postural improvement, and stretching, strengthening, relaxation and rehabilitative exercises.
Plan, prepare and carry out programs focused on the science of biomechanics and physiology to maintain, restore physical functions or alleviate pain.
Administer manual exercises, massage or traction to help relieve pain, increase patient strength, or decrease or prevent deformity or crippling.
Recommend changes in patients' work or living environments, consistent with their needs and capabilities.