First Line Kinesiologists Inc. 33 Hazelton Ave, Suite 407
Toronto Ontario M5R 2E3
Tel: 416 405 9955
Fax: 416 405 9959
What is a Kinesiologist?
John R. Gray, MSc, CSCS, CK
While many people are already aware of the benefits of working with a kinesiologist,
others are unfamiliar with the profession. A kinesiologist is a self-regulated health
professional who uses exercise, and other forms of movement, to help people
rehabilitate injury and/or restore or enhance physical function. As this scope of
practice can become very broad, many kinesiologists have specialized in a
particular area. For example, one kinesiologist may work in a multidisciplinary team
of health professionals to assess and treat injury, whereas another may focus on
the health benefits of exercise and work in more of a personal training capacity.
What ties kinesiologists together is their membership in the Ontario Kinesiology
Association (OKA), the regulatory body for kinesiology since 1982. Certified
members of the OKA bear the credential “CK”, or Certified Kinesiologist. The OKA
sets demanding guidelines that require a four year university degree in kinesiology
and ensures that the candidate has completed appropriate coursework in
biomechanics, motor control/learning, and exercise physiology, among other
subjects. All Certified Kinesiologists must follow standards of practice and
continuing education requirements that equal or exceed other regulated health
professions. Also, similar to other health professions’ colleges, the OKA has a
process through which the public may submit a complaint regarding the
inappropriateness of action or negligence of any Certified Kinesiologist. This
creates an increased level of accountability for all Certified Kinesiologists to ensure
they are practicing ethically and appropriately.
However, completing a kinesiology degree does not necessarily make one a
kinesiologist, as many personal trainers may advertise themselves to be. Although
it can sometimes create confusion, the title “kinesiologist” is impossible to protect
against others’ use, just as “therapist”, “investment advisor”, or “accountant” are
titles that cannot be protected. That is why it is important for people to understand
that only people who have met the requirements of the OKA should legitimately
consider themselves kinesiologists.
Please feel free to send us any questions you may have, or contact us for additional
information. If you would like to learn more about the kinesiology profession or the
OKA, please visit the website at: www.oka.on.ca.