What is Kinesiology?

Kinesiologists, are "human movement specialists". 

The Profession

Kinesiologists, are "human movement specialists". The National Occupational Classification (NOC) defines kinesiologists and related professions (Category 3144).

It states in part:

Main duties

Therapists and other professionals in this unit group perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Assess patients and review reports from physicians, physiotherapists, psychiatrists, counsellors, teachers and other professionals to determine patients' current and potential functioning level
  • Prepare individualized and group treatment plans either independently or through a multidisciplinary team approach, based on health concerns and on recommendations from physicians or other health professionals
  • Design specialized therapy programs to maintain, rehabilitate or enhance movement, musculoskeletal functioning and performance in sports, work and recreation
  • Implement treatment plans by carrying out specialized therapy sessions employing approaches and techniques such as art, drama and music therapy or dance, recreational, sports or other movement therapy
  • Observe, record observations and analyze patients during treatment sessions, write progress reports on patient outcomes and consult with other health professionals to evaluate treatment plans
  • May provide education to clients regarding health promotion and injury prevention, management and treatment
  • May conduct research in respective field of specialization.

In Alberta a Kinesiologist's area of practice could include, but is not limited too: biomechanics, orthopedics, ergonomics, strength, conditioning, rehabilitation, sports performance, performance of activities of daily living, and general fitness. Basic psychological principles as they relate to the areas mentioned are also studied.

What do Kinesiologists do? 

Kinesiologists often work independently with clients to develop training programs. We also work in rehabilitation clinics, Primary Care Networks and in conjunction with other health professionals such as Chiropractors, Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Athletic Therapists, and Dietitians.

What does kinesiology mean for you?

Kinesiologists can help in the prevention and reduction of risk factors for some of the most common serious medical conditions that affect Canadians, including but not limited to heart disease and diabetes. Properly prescribed exercise can cut the risk of heart attack significantly. Kinesiologists can also help you treat and recover from injuries. Using scientific best practices Kinesiologists can coach clients in building strong bones, joints and bodies.

It’s well-known that exercise and physical activity are key to a healthy life. Kinesiologists are experts in exercise and  movement; they can help you perform better and live a healthier lifestyle.

Kinesiology is Prevention

Professional Kinesiologists are leaders in the prevention of injury and chronic disease. The Public Health Agency of Canada found that “Physical activity has been shown to reduce the risk of over 25 chronic conditions.” These include coronary heart disease, diabetes, certain types of cancer, high blood pressure, strokes, Alzheimer's disease and certain mental health conditions.

Kinesiology is Rehabilitation

Professional Kinesiologists use exercise in the management of injury and chronic disease. Professional Kinesiologists empower and assist clients to help manage and improve their own health. From heart health to diabetes, Professional Kinesiologists can help manage some of the most serious chronic conditions Albertans suffer. Professional Kinesiologists also have the expertise needed to help in the prevention and management of musculoskeletal disorders, which in past years have accounted for more than 40% of lost-time injuries in Alberta.

Kinesiology is Performance

Performance in sport or in life. From professional and collegiate sports teams to recreational athletes, weekend warriors, and Albertans who just want to do more; Professional Kinesiologists can help.

Here are some typical assessments and services performed by Professional Kinesiologists.

Types of Services

The Profession

The title of Professional Kinesiologist in Alberta is granted by the AKA to graduates of an accredited university degree program. Members must use the approved title of “Professional Kinesiologist” or the designation of PKin when providing services.

Professional Kinesiologists provide services through the application of the science of human movement and deliver quality solutions through prevention, objective assessment, and evidence based intervention.


The following outlines some typical assessments performed by Professional Kinesiologists:

  • Musculoskeletal Assessment
  • Strength and Endurance Testing
  • Physical Capacity Evaluation
  • Functional Capacity Evaluation
  • Assistive Devices Utilization
  • Physical Demands Analysis
  • Ergonomic Assessment
  • Critical Task Inventory & Verification
  • Task Analysis
  • In-Home Assessments
  • Transferable Skills Analysis
  • Gait Assessment/Analysis
  • Biomechanical Analysis
  • Psychomotor Testing

The following outlines the typical services provided by Professional Kinesiologists to individuals with soft tissue injuries:

  • Therapeutic Exercise
  • Strength and Endurance Exercises
  • Cardiovascular Exercises
  • Range of Motion Exercises
  • Hydrotherapy
  • Education
  • Cardiac Rehabilitation
  • Work Hardening
  • Work Conditioning
  • Chronic Pain Management
  • Biofeedback, Surface E.M.G.
  • Assistive Devices Utilization
  • Medical-Legal Consultation
  • Adapted Design
  • Critical Task Inventory & Verification
  • RTW Programs
  • Case Management
  • Claims Consultation
  • Job Coaching/Shadowing

What Kinesiology is NOT

A Professional Kinesiologist is not the same as an “Applied Kinesiology”, or “AK”.  

The practice of AK does not use academic or scientific evidence.

As such, the AKA does not endorse or support the use of Applied Kinesiology.