This page will help you learn more about the profession of kinesiology, who kinesiologists are, and what to expect when you see a registered kinesiologist. Below you can also find information on what self-regulation is and how kinesiologists work in your interests.
Kinesiology is the scientific study of human movement, performance and function, and incorporates the sciences of biomechanics, anatomy, physiology, psychology and neuroscience. Kinesiologists work with people of all ages and physical abilities to:
- treat and prevent injury and disease
- improve movement and performance.
Some areas of kinesiology practice include:
- health promotion
- injury rehabilitation
- pain and chronic disease management
- fitness training
- return to work planning and disability management
- public health
In Ontario, kinesiology is a self-regulated profession. Self-regulation means that the government has allowed a profession, through its college, to develop rules to regulate that profession. In exchange for this privilege, these rules must protect the public’s right to competent, safe and ethical care. To learn more about self-regulation, click here.
The title kinesiologist is protected in Ontario, meaning that only members of the College can call themselves kinesiologists or claim to be kinesiologists. Members must use the titles “kinesiologist” or “registered kinesiologist”, or the designation R.Kin when providing services. The designation previously used, “certified kinesiologist”, can no longer be used in Ontario. To see if a kinesiologist is registered, click here.
Kinesiologists provide many services and work in a variety of settings, including:
- Community care
- Family health teams
- Rehabilitation and wellness clinics
- Insurance, health and safety consultancy firms
- Nursing and long-term care homes
- Health and fitness clubs
- Private practice
Kinesiologists can accept clients on a referral or a non-referral basis.
Kinesiology services are not covered by OHIP. However, some extended health plans cover kinesiology services and/or treatments and assessments under the scope of practice of kinesiology; check your individual plan. You may also submit out-of-pocket kinesiology expenses on your annual tax return.
When you see a kinesiologist, you can expect the kinesiologist to do the following:
- Take a complete health history and find out your goals or objectives.
- Conduct an assessment. The assessments differ according to the reason why you are seeing a kinesiologist. Some typical assessments may include strength and flexibility testing, cardiovascular testing, gait assessment, cognitive psychometric evaluation or a physical demands analysis, among others.
- Discuss the findings of the assessment with you.
- Propose a personalized treatment plan that will meet your goals or objectives.
- Obtain consent for the treatment plan as well as for fees and method of billing.
- Regularly measure your progress and make adjustments to the treatment as needed.
- Provide advice and education regarding your condition.
- Keep a record of the care provided and ensure your personal health information is kept secure and confidential.
- Collaborate with others as appropriate.
Treatment by kinesiologists is often hands-on and can involve manual therapy, exercise instruction and a series of other modalities, such as electro-physical modalities (e.g. heat, ice, ultrasound and laser). Some treatment may cause a certain level of pain and/or discomfort that may be normal; however, the treatment can be stopped at any time should it become too uncomfortable.
During the course of your treatment, your kinesiologist is expected act professionally and to provide care that is in your best interests.
To register with the College, an applicant must:
- have a four or five year kinesiology degree, or a degree that is similar (e.g. physical education, human kinetics).
- complete the Jurisprudence e-Learning Module, which tests their knowledge on the laws, regulations and standards that apply to kinesiology in Ontario.
- submit a criminal record check to the College.
- pass the College's entry-to-practice exam.
- provide proof of carrying professional liability insurance. All kinesiologists who are actively practising must carry professional liability insurance.
Once registered, members are permitted to use the titles "kinesiologist", "registered kinesiologist” and the designation R.Kin. All kinesiologists have a registration number which they should provide on their invoices.
Any individual claiming to be a kinesiologist who does not or cannot provide adequate proof of registration may be practising illegally, and you are encouraged to report any suspicions of this kind to the College. The College investigates any reports of unregulated practitioners.
Once registered, members have a series of obligations and responsibilities that they must fulfill to remain in good standing. Some of these include: