Frequently Asked Questions

What is kinesiology?

“The practice of Kinesiology is the assessment of movement, performance and function and the rehabilitation, prevention and management of disorders to maintain, rehabilitate or enhance movement, performance and function, in the areas of sport, recreation, work, exercise, health management, and activities of daily living.” -British Columbia Association of Kinesiologists (BCAK)

"Kinesiology is the science and precision application of exercise, nutrition, and environmental demands on the adaptation of human anatomy and physiology to enhance athletic performance, health, and activities of daily living." -Jason Root, MS, CSCS, C-EP (yeah, I just quoted myself. So, what!?)


What is a kinesiologist?

A kinesiologist works where the fields of healthcare, fitness, education, and sports performance meet. There are a few types of kinesiologists as there are quite a few types of psychologists. A kinesiologist who works in the field is a specialist in the study and application of movement science who utilizes their specialization in strength and conditioning for sport and functional performance as well as treating physiological imbalances that cause chronic health conditions and injury. 

Some kinesiologists, however, work in a closed academic setting for purposes of research in exercise science.  For our purposes, we may call them ‘research’ kinesiologists. There is also an unrelated field called Applied Kinesiology that deals with acupressure and eastern medicine energy techniques.  By definition, other professions such as chiropractors, occupational therapists, and physical therapists are specific types of ‘clinical’ kinesiologists as they are working on specific acute healthcare issues.

RootHealth is kinesiology in the field.


Who does Roothealth work with?

RootHealth works with athletes to increase performance/decrease injury, people with chronic health conditions, those exiting the care of healthcare providers, those under the care of healthcare providers, and those looking to optimize their conditioning program based on health testing and outcomes.

What is the difference between a kinesiologist and a physical therapist?

Education-  A physical therapist is required to have a Master’s or Doctorate in Physical Therapy along with a state licensure.

Scope of practice-A physical therapist (PT) is an Allied Health practitioner while a kinesiologist works outside of the medical industry.  Physical therapists typically work with more serious acute biomechanical issues for shorter periods of time.   They are empowered to diagnose, order diagnostics, and evaluate diagnostics in regards to tissue damage and other acute health issues.  Because physical therapists are allied health professionals, they are typically paid through insurance companies.

 Kinesiologist can identify underlying imbalances that cause disease, pain, and other health issues.  Kinesiologist typically work with individuals for a long period of time to alleviate chronic rather than acute conditions.  The kinesiologist will work with many different health issues (including metabolic, cardiac, and mechanical).  Many times, working with a kinesiologist is continuation of care from a physical therapist, chiropractor, cardiologist, psychologist or other health or allied health provider. 

Kinesiologists are not paid by insurance and are not allied health professionals.  Though, when working within other healthcare offices, care may be under the umbrella of the office allowing for certain services to be charged to insurance.  Otherwise, all expenses are ‘out of pocket’ for the consumer.

Environment-Physical therapists work in specialized physical therapy clinics, sport performance, rehab, and hospitals.  Kinesiologists work in similar types of environments minus hospitals.

What is the difference between a kinesiologist and a personal trainer?

The short answer is ‘precision’. A personal trainer is required, educationally, to have a certification (usually taken over a weekend) and no specific work experience. Their scope of practice is ‘general health’. While no specific license exists for a kinesiologist in America, Canada and Australia have good examples of what should separate the two. They should hold a degree of at least a Bachelor’s in kinesiology and a higher level certification in treating special populations and athletes. They should have some experience in these areas as well. This leads them to be able to work with populations and issues requiring a greater skill level.