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Kinesiology: What's In A Word?


It’s ok. Lots of people struggle to pronounce it. Even more struggle to understand what it means. That’s where I come in!

Hi! I’m Katie, the newest member of the CONNECT Rehab Team and I’m a Registered Kinesiologist. I’m here to finally answer the age-old question - what does a Kinesiologist do? First, let me provide a little background and then I’ll tell you how I can help you!

Kinesiology is the study of human movement and exercise. Kinesiology uncovers the biomechanical, physiological, neurological, and psychosocial mechanisms that drive human function and performance. Kinesiologists registered with the College of Kinesiologists of Ontario (CKO) must have a university degree and must adhere to the standards outlined by the College.

In the health world, Kinesiologists are sometimes known as the “jack-of-all-trades” as their scope of practice ranges from acute injury management to workplace ergonomics to disability case management. The profession is often broken down into three areas of service: Prevention, Management and Performance.

Prevention services include health promotion aimed at reducing the risks of chronic disease, improving workplace wellness and performing risk assessments.

Management includes exercise prescription and physical activity to address injury and chronic disease (such as diabetes and heart disease).

Performance relates to the ability of a kinesiologist to improve performance, health and overall quality of life - for individuals of any age and level of fitness.

But sometimes a “jack-of-all-trades” is a “master-of-none”, which is why many Kinesiologists choose an area of expertise to focus on. With almost 20 years of clinical experience, I’ve had the time to figure out what I enjoy, and more importantly: what I’m good at. Here is how I can help you as a Kinesiologist:

  • Back Pain Management - My slogan is “Don’t take back pain lying down!” We’ve come a long way from the days when doctors ordered individuals with back pain to lie in bed for days at a time until their pain went away. Research now shows that most back pain resolves on its own within 3 weeks and that physical activity is essential in recovery and in prevention. Check out our group classes starting soon!

  • Workplace Wellness / Ergonomics - Early in my clinical career, I worked extensively with manufacturing employees following injury. It motivated me to do more to ensure a smooth transition back into the workplace with work-hardening programs, job coaching, return to work coordination and ergonomic assessments. I now also enjoy helping employers implement wellness programs for their employees aimed at the basics of health - physical activity, nutrition, sleep and mental health.

  • Special Population Exercise Prescription - As a Kinesiologist, my understanding of acute injury recovery and chronic health conditions (such as diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis and arthritis) provides me with a unique perspective on exercise. I work with individuals to achieve their goals, starting with pain management (if necessary), recovery of movement and finally return to function - and more! It’s the personal training approach with a more thorough understanding of any associated health conditions, ensuring you feel safe starting an exercise program and ultimately achieving your goals.

Over the years I’ve learned that just being pain-free isn’t enough for individuals. While that may be what motivates them to reach out for help initially, they appreciate gaining an understanding of their injury, pain or dysfunction, how to prevent it from happening again and ultimately leaving the clinic better than they were before their problem. I feel that a little bit of education empowers individuals to continue on their journey to optimal health. Who doesn’t want a personal toolbox to help them reach their health goals day today?

I’ve always been passionate about helping people, making connections and sharing my fascination for human movement. I’m excited to be able to continue this with the team at CONNECT!


Katie Douglas is a Registered Kinesiologist, full-time mom, part-time athlete, and avid supporter of youth sports in Owen Sound as one of the founding members of the Owen Sound Rugby Club. Katie is passionate about using exercise as a way to reduce pain and promote long-term health, regardless of where you start out. To book an appointment with Katie at CONNECT, click here.

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