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About 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: 

Click the headings below to learn more about the profession and what you can expect when you see a registered kinesiologist.

Kinesiologists provide many services and work in a variety of settings, including:

  • Community care
  • Family health teams
  • Hospitals
  • Rehabilitation and wellness clinics
  • Insurance, health and safety consultancy firms
  • Nursing and long-term care homes
  • Health and fitness clubs
  • Private practice
  • Academia
  • School boards

Some kinesiologists work on a referral or non-referral basis.  

The Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) does not cover kinesiology services. However, some extended health insurance plans cover kinesiology services and/or treatments and assessments under the scope of practice of kinesiology. Contact your insurance company for more information. You may also submit out-of-pocket kinesiology expenses on your annual tax return. Visit the Canada Revenue Agency for more information.

When you see a kinesiologist, you can expect them 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 and for fees and method of billing.
  • Regularly measure your progress and adjust the treatment plan 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. 

Kinesiology is a regulated health profession in Ontario. That means that the title “kinesiologist” is protected in Ontario and 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

To practise kinesiology in Ontario, a person must be registered with the College of Kinesiologists. To register with the College, a person 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 that 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.

Kinesiologists have a series of obligations and responsibilities that they must fulfill to remain in good standing. Some of these include: