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 how regulation protects you.
What is kinesiology?
Kinesiology is the scientific study of human movement, performance and function. Kinesiology incorporates the sciences of biomechanics, anatomy, physiology, psychology and neuroscience into an all-encompassing healthcare practice. Kinesiologists use the latest evidence-based research to treat and prevent injury and disease, and to improve movement and performance. Kinesiologists work with people of all ages and physical abilities in many settings to help them achieve their health and wellness goals, and improve quality of life. Some areas of kinesiology practice include:
What is self-regulation?
- health promotion
- injury rehabilitation
- pain and chronic disease management
- ergonomics and workplace safety
- fitness training and athletics
- return to work planning and disability management
- public health
In Ontario, kinesiology is a self-regulated profession. This means that the government has allowed the profession, through a 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. The College of Kinesiologists of Ontario is the only one of its kind in Canada. No other province or territory has a legislated body that regulates the profession. Learn more about self-regulation
Can anyone call themselves a kinesiologist?
The title "kinesiologist" is protected in Ontario, meaning that only individuals registered with the College can call themselves kinesiologists or claim to be kinesiologists. Individuals registered with the College must use the titles “kinesiologist”, “registered kinesiologist” or the designation “R.Kin” when providing services. The designation previously used, “certified kinesiologist”, can no longer be used in Ontario. Even if someone lists a degree in kinesiology by their name, that doesn’t mean they are registered. See if a kinesiologist is registered
Where do kinesiologists work?
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
- School boards
Some kinesiologists work on a referral or non-referral basis.
Are kinesiology services covered by insurance?
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. Visit the Canada Revenue Agency website
for more information.
What can I expect if I am being treated by a kinesiologist?
When you see a kinesiologist, you can expect the kinesiologist to do some or all of 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.
- 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 health.
- Keep a record of the care provided and ensure your personal health information is kept secure and confidential.
- Collaborate with other health professionals as appropriate.
Treatment by kinesiologists is often hands-on. A kinesiologist may need to touch or feel different body parts or ask questions of a personal nature to fully understand your condition or injury.
When this occurs as part of assessment or treatment, the kinesiologist will:
- tell you what he or she is going to do before proceeding and ask permission.
- explain the need to touch or to ask certain questions.
These treatments could 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 treatment, your kinesiologist is expected to act professionally and to provide care that is in your best interests. Good communication between you and your kinesiologist is important in the professional relationship. Make sure you ask questions and voice any opinions or concerns.
What are the requirements to become a kinesiologist?
To register with the College, an individual must:
- have a degree in kinesiology that is at least four years in length, or a degree that is similar (e.g. physical education, human kinetics).
- submit a criminal record check to the College.
- pass the College's entry-to-practice exam.
Once registered, they 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
What obligations do kinesiologists have to the College?
Once registered, kinesiologists have a series of obligations and responsibilities that they must fulfill to remain in good standing. Some of these include: