Professional practice in exercise science: The need for greater disciplinary balance

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This article describes the current outlook for professional practice for graduates majoring in exercise science. A review of professional and experimental literature reveals that graduates of undergraduate programmes in exercise science are not as prepared as they should be in order to provide professional and comprehensive advice on exercise and human performance, because of the focused academic and professional requirements of exercise physiology. In contrast to the direction of training in other allied health professions, this trend of narrowing of the exercise science curriculum to focus on exercise physiology, at the expense of other subdisciplines in kinesiology, has contributed to a decreasing scope of practice and lack of uniqueness, and has reduced the effectiveness of exercise science graduates. This review focuses on an accumulating body of evidence indicating that improving the training in biomechanics and motor behaviour could increase the professional expertise of exercise science graduates. Small improvements in the exercise science curriculum in biomechanics and motor behaviour are proposed that would move toward greater balance and integration of the academic disciplines in kinesiology and better professional practice in exercise science. The drift away from a balance and integration of academic preparation in exercise science represents a threat to the acceptance of exercise science graduates as exercise professionals that needs to be corrected for the field to advance. © 2007 Adis Data Information BV. All rights reserved.

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Sports Medicine

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