Fitness and Health Promotion
The areas of fitness and health promotion were historically the cornerstone of employment for kinesiologists in Canada. The fitness boom of the 1970's and 1980's has leveled off. Today the area has expanded to provide for a more holistic approach, focusing on health promotion. Professionals working in the area now tend to look at "lifestyle", dealing with issues that affect the whole person such as stress, diet, and environmental factors. Exercise and education remain key tools for this group of professionals who encourage their clients to take increased responsibility for their own health through informed, health lifestyle choices. Many jobs in this area may be found within large corporations such as crown or private agencies for telephone or hydro services, and government ministries. With outside consulting companies who contract to individuals and companies for personal and corporate fitness. Many professionals also work in private settings.
This is an employment area that has grown tremendously in recent years for Kinesiologists as new ways of assessing and treating injuries have increasingly included patient education and active exercise therapy. In many parts of Canada, both automobile insurers and worker related agencies have endorsed active rehabilitation programs. Those led by multi-disciplined teams, often including kinesiologists, work directly with patients one-on-one or in small groups, primarily educating them about anatomy, physiology, and body mechanics, as well as designing and monitoring their specific exercise therapy. Typical work settings are clinics, public and private rehabilitation centres.
Ergonomics and Human Factors
Professionals in this area are often involved in analyzing employees in their work environments. Kinesiologists look at the work spaces, practices, tools, and demands of the job so as to improve worker safety and productivity. Kinesiologists with ergonomics training take a "whole body" systems approach to studying these challenges and are often involved in determining ways of reducing or eliminating repetitive strain or overuse injuries. Kinesiologists are also involved in the design of new workspaces, equipment, and processes with an eye to preventing poor worker/machine interface. Alternatively they might have to examine areas where there are known problems and identify solutions. Many kinesiologists work for large industry organizations where assembly-line type processes or repetitive movements are common (e.g. sawmills, telecommunications equipment construction and use, automobile manufacturing plants, etc. Others work as consultants, providing analysis, education and solutions to a wide-variety of industries.
Some kinesiologists pursue their interests beyond their undergraduate experience with many earning graduate degrees at the Masters and Doctoral levels. Many kinesiologists contribute to a variety of timely research.