Physical Activity Counseling in Kinesiology Curricula: What is Offered in Ontario?

Philip M. Wilson, Caitlin Kelly, Diane E. Mack, Colin Wierts


Background: Physical activity counseling (PAC) is a viable approach for individualizing behavior change yet it is unclear if training opportunities in this area constitute a portion of the curriculum offered to university students by kinesiology departments. Objectives: The purpose of this study was to describe the availability of courses in PAC within the curricular offered by kinesiology departments at the post-secondary level. Methods: Data were extracted from the 2018-2019 undergraduate calendars published by kinesiology departments from universities in Ontario, Canada. Results: Seventeen of the 22 universities (77.3%) reported a department of kinesiology (or equivalent). Every kinesiology department offered courses in human biomechanics and human psychomotor learning or neuroscience. Less than half (n = 7; 41.2%) of these kinesiology departments offered PAC courses. Conclusions: Overall, this study makes it apparent that university students completing a kinesiology degree may have limited access to formal training opportunities devoted exclusively to PAC in comparison to other knowledge domains (e.g., human biomechanics). Based on these results, it seems reasonable to contend that kinesiology programs may warrant reconfiguring to meet the occupational demands of exercise professionals who use PAC to combat physical inactivity.


Health Promotion, Counselling, Professional Practice, Certification

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