Kinesiology scientifically studies human movement in relation to the body’s physiological processes and anatomy. Skills required for jobs in kinesiology include decision making, program coordination, ability to take and follow directions and understand difficult concepts. Kinesiology jobs are located in education, the private sector, gyms, specialty sports shops, professional athletics, businesses and hospitals. Specific types of jobs include professional athlete, physical therapist and physical education instructor or coach.
Professional athletes compete individually or as part of a team in a given sport or specified area of athletics such as dance. While not required for the field, a degree in kinesiology benefits athletes greatly as they better understand their body’s capabilities and its movement, which allows them to excel in their sport or athletic area. Knowledge of kinesiology helps professional athletes achieve and maintain peak physical condition, which is necessary for high-level performance. Professional athletes are selected by scouts from amateur athletes and must have in-depth knowledge of the sport and its rules. A kinesiology degree does not automatically qualify individuals for a job as a professional athlete as potential professionals must possess a high talent for the sport or athletic area.
Physical therapists work in the health care industry to care for people of all ages who have medical problems or other health conditions, illnesses or injuries that inhibit movement or the performance of daily activities. Physical therapists develop a treatment plan to restore mobility, reduce pain, restore function and prevent disability. Treatment plans designed by physical therapists may include, but are not limited to, therapeutic exercise, functional training, manual therapy techniques, assistive and adaptive devices and equipment and physical agents and electrotherapeutic modalities. Physical therapists often work in conjunction with other professionals such as physicians, dentists, nurses, educators, social workers, occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists and audiologists.
Physical Education Instructor
Physical education educators work in elementary or secondary schools to teach students about healthy living, exercise and physical fitness. Physical education educators instruct, organize and supervise students on proper exercise routines and technique. Proper nutrition and healthy lifestyle choices are also focuses for physical education educators. Coursework in nutrition, biology, exercise planning, psychology and sports medicine are beneficial for physical education teachers. Skills and knowledge required to be an effective physical education educator include verbal communication skills, motivational attitude, patience and extensive knowledge of physical fitness, sports and exercise. Many physical education educators also partner with the school’s athletic department to expand knowledge and program abilities.
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