View Full Version : Kinesiology

Ewald M. Hennig
01-30-1995, 10:24 PM
This is a summary of the responses of more than 20 individuals on the
topic of "kinesiology" as a department name for physical education
institutions (message from last week). The responses have been very
helpful, and I want to express my thanks to all contributors.

Ewald M. Hennig

Original Message
Dear Biomch-l Users,
we are in the process of changing the name of our department of physical
education. Historically, our PE department was a purely pedagogically
oriented institution with little emphasis on the biological sciences. The
program has changed and it was suggested to rename our institution to
department of "kinesiology". Although by its greek origin the word
"kinesiology" refers to the general study of movement, the use of this
expression seems to me having a less general meaning.I have perceived the
use of the expression "kinesiology" as restricted to the structure and
function of the human body, incorporating anatomy, biomechanics, and -
possibly - motor learning. Because our institution offers also education
in sports psychology, history and pedagogy, I wonder if the name
"kinesiology" would be appropriate for our department. I realize that
many institutions in North America have gone through procedures of
renaming. I would appreciate any comments about the expression
"kinesiology", previous experiences with department names, and
definitions. A summary of the responses will be posted,

Ewald M. Hennig


>From akers@jove.acs.unt.eduTue Jan 31 12:35:40 1995
Date: Tue, 24 Jan 1995 07:23:30 -0600 (CST)
From: Roy Allen Akers
To: "Ewald M. Hennig"
Subject: Re: Kinesiology

Both institutions I have attended (University of Houston, for undergrad,
and the University of North Texas, for graduate) use the term
"kinesiology" for their departments and include all of the areas that you
have mentioned, including history, pedagogy, and sport psychology. Those
are all quite common areas, from my experience, to fall within the area
of kinesiology. Basically, it appears, that anything that is used to
describe or understand humans during sport or exercise or the acquisition
of motor skills necessarily for such activities can legitimately fall
under the heading of kinesiology. I hope this is helpful...

Allen Akers
University of North Texas
Dept of Kinesiology, Health Promotion, & Recreation

>From loitz@mail.soemadison.wisc.eduTue Jan 31 12:35:52 1995
Date: Tue, 24 Jan 1995 08:28:00 -600
From: Barbara Loitz
To: qpd800@aixrs1.hrz.uni-essen.de
Subject: kinesiology

Dear Ewald:

I am on the faculty in the Department of Kinesiology at the University of
Wisconsin-Madison. Our department was developed in 1990 as a
merger of the Department of Physical Education and Dance, and the
Physical and Occupational Therapy Programs that had been part of a
Department of Allied Health Professions. The Dance majors were moved
to a Department of Fine Arts, as that fits their needs more clearly. So our
current department includes four undergraduate tracks: PE teacher
preparation, Exercise Science (generally used as a step toward
graduate or Medical School), Physical Therapy, and Occupational
Therapy. In addition, we have a Masters Degree program in Therapeutic
Science for students who already have an undergrad degree in PT or
OT, and Masters and PhD programs in Kinesiology. The needs of each
of the tracks seems to fit well within the definition of Kinesiology. We
have major emphases in teaching and research within Exercise
Physiology, Biomechanics, Motor Learning, Motor Control, and Sports
Psychology. Our major challenge is not in whether Kinesiology fits what
we study, but in keeping the pedogogy faculty productive enough to
meet the standard of the University. Tenure is a difficult and challenging
task at our institution and we have had problems retaining pedagogy
I am a bit biased in my opinions because I came from the Dept of
Kinesiology at UCLA. It has since changed its name to the Dept of
Physiological Science to reflect more clearly the emphasis of the
department. I was an undergrad just after the department changed from
PE to Kinesiolgoy and we fought in the early days to dispel the notion that
we were all just overtrained coaches. At the time there was no
pedagogy being taught in the department and none of the majors were
interested in coaching. I think that the definition of Kinesiology has
changed over the years and now reflects more of a pedagogy
emphasis than previously. The old Kines departments are now changing
to more biology-related titles in order to get away from the thought that
they are just glorified PE programs.

A long-winded response. Good luck in your quest. It is a much larger
task than most imagine with consequences that go much deeper than it
first appears.

Barbara Loitz-Ramage, PhD PT
Department of Kinesiology, Physical Therapy Program
University of Wisconsin-Madison

email loitz@soemadison.wisc.edu

>From jives@camel.campbell.eduTue Jan 31 12:36:04 1995
Date: Tue, 24 Jan 1995 09:38:15 -40962758 (EST)
From: Jeff Ives
To: qpd800@aixrs1.hrz.uni-essen.de
Subject: Re: Kinesiology

I understand your concerns over a departmental name change.
We just changed the name of our department from Physical
Education and Sport Management to Exercise Science. The
name change does not indicate that we are no longer offering
pedagogy or sport management, but does indicate a heightened
emphasis on the sciences. Such an emphasis is important for
our graduates (we have no graduate program) as they enter the
job market or apply to graduate school, and is hopefully
allowing us to move away from some negative stereotypes
associated with 'PE'. Yes, part of reason for the name
change is rooted in stereotype and perception of what a
PE major is. Another reason is simplicity. Dept. of
Physical Education, Sports Management, and Exercise
Science (PESMES!) is too laborious--try that on a rubber
stamp! Personally, I think Kinesiology or Human Movement
Science are good names--only many laypersons (including
prospective students and their parents) have no idea what
kinesiology means. Hope this is of some help.
Good luck,
Jeff Ives, PhD. Dept. Exercise Science, Campbell University
Buies Creek, NC 27506 USA

>From Duane_Knudson@BAYLOR.EDUTue Jan 31 12:36:18 1995
Date: Tue, 24 Jan 1995 09:11:55 -0600
From: Duane Knudson
To: "Ewald M. Hennig"
Subject: Re: Kinesiology

Reply to: RE>Kinesiology

Our department recently changed our name after a year of discussion. Despite
its literal meaning, kinesiology has become to mean "The science or
study of
human muscular movements--especially as applied in physical education" Yank
dictionary of English. I was amazed how the faculty was swayed by 'gut'
reactions and not the logical discussion of the issue in the literature over
the past few decades.

For your enjoyment or bewilderment here are a few possible choices:

Developmental Physical Activity in Sport, Exercise, and Related Expressive
Movement (Zeigler, 1990)

Exercise Science (Katch, 1990)

Exercise and Sport Science (Kretchmar, 1989; Nelson, 1990)

Human Movement Sciences/Studies (Whiting, 1982)

Human Kinetics

Human Performance

Kinesiology (AAPE, 1989; Newell, 1989)

Kinanthropology (Meynard, 1966; Renson, 1975,1980,1991)

Movement Science (Curl, 1973; Renshaw, 1973; Higgins, 1989)

Sport Science (Willimczk, 1968; Reilly, 1983; Thomas, 1987).

Some recent references to introduce you to the issue:

Arnold, P. (1993) J Hum. Mov. Stud. 25:203-231.

Kleinman, S. (1992, May/June) JOPERD 11-12.

Vincent, W. (1991) Physical Educator 119

Duane Knudson, Ph.D.
Department of Health, Human Performance, and Recreation
Baylor University


>From splet003@maroon.tc.umn.eduTue Jan 31 12:36:46 1995
Date: Tue, 24 Jan 95 09:34:57 -0500
From: "Elizabeth A. Spletzer"
To: qpd800@aixrs1.hrz.uni-essen.de
Subject: Re: Kinesiology

Proceedings of the Big Ten Leadership Conference - Chicago, Illinois -
8-11, 1988 focused on this topic. Human Kinetics Publishers printed and
distributed the conference report. One of the members of the Organizing
Committee was Dr. Michael G. Wade of the University of Minnesota. He has
written articles on this topic. His e-mail address is
Hope this helps. Elizabeth Spletzer, Education Specialist, University of
Minnesota - Twin Cites, splet003@maroon.tc.umn.edu

>From LNOBLE@KSUVM.BITNETTue Jan 31 12:37:02 1995
Date: Tue, 24 Jan 95 09:25 CST
From: Larry Noble
To: "Ewald M. Hennig"
Subject: Re: Kinesiology

Ewald, in the United States of America, quite a few departments
such as yours, with a history of focusing on the preparation of
physical education teachers and coaches, have changed their name to
kinesiology in recent years. Our department did so five years ago.
The statements which follow are excepted from a presentation
prepared to articulate our role in the College of Arts and Sciences
to the dean and college planning group as they were considering
eliminating the department. The department has not been
eliminated, and seems to be doing well with our new, focused
mission. I hope these remarks are helpful. Please let me know if
I can help you further.


Kinesiology is the multidisciplinary study of humans in a movement,
or physical activity, context. The objective of the curricula is
a greater understanding of human participation in such physical
activities as exercise, sport, activities of daily living, and
work. The body of knowledge includes physiological, biomechanical,
psychological, sociological, maturational, historical, cultural,
and learning aspects of human movement. Kinesiology provides an
excellent knowledge base for professional preparation in teaching
and coaching, sports medicine, fitness promotion, physical therapy,
and other health-related professions.


We have recently undergone extensive program changes and reduction
with the encouragement and full support of the provost and dean's
office. The purpose of these changes was two-fold: (1) to trim
away areas which were not central to the mission of the College of
Arts and Sciences, and (2) to emphasize areas that are central to
the mission of the College. As a result of the reorganization, the
teacher preparation program was moved to the College of Education,
recreation program management was moved to the College of
Agriculture, and therapeutic recreation, first aid/CPR, and
professional aquatics (water safety instruction and lifeguard
training) were eliminated.


The key to the role of kinesiology in a College of Arts and
Sciences is its role in liberal education. We believe that
someone is liberally educated when they develop an understanding
and appreciation of human experiences from a number of different
perspectives. Traditionally we learn about society from the
discipline of sociology, we learn about literature through the
discipline of English, culture through history and anthropology,
nature and living organisms through the discipline of biology,
natural phenomenon through cehmistry and physics and we learn about
logic through the disciplines of math and philosophy. We believe
that movement is also an essential part of human experiences.
Thus, we join the arts, humanities, the physical and social
sciences in seeking to discover what it means to be human. We
know, for example, that infants learn significantly through
movement experiences, through crawling, touching and feeling;
adolescents test their physical and psychological limits through
human performance in the form of participation in organized
sporting activities. Middle age men and women utilize movement
experiences to improve health and fitness. And, to take us
completely through the life cycle, the greying American population
view human movement as a way to stay young and overcome health
abnormalities such as cardiovascular disease, obesity, and
arthritis as well as to overcome social and emotional trauma
related to separation from family, loneliness and issues of facing
death. Movement experiences, whether in the form of activities of
daily living, exercise, organized sport, and in special
environments such as the work place, and even space, affects
The traditional domains of arts and sciences have not focused
adequate attention on this movement domain. As human movement
continues to play a more important role in our society and in our
lives, the discipline of kinesiology has developed. Kinesiology
can best be understood as a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary
science which includes sociological, historical, biomechanical,
physiological, psychological, and neurological perspectives. We
argue that kinesiology is the only place where the motor domain is
studied extensively.

>From lcarlton@ux1.cso.uiuc.eduTue Jan 31 12:37:55 1995
Date: Tue, 24 Jan 1995 11:12:53 -0600
From: lcarlton@ux1.cso.uiuc.edu
To: qpd800@aixrs1.hrz.uni-essen.de
Subject: Kinesiology

Dear Dr. Henning:

You might want to look at two articles published in Quest.
They are:

Newell, K. M. (1990). Kinesiology: The label for the study of
physical activitiy in higher education, 42, 269-278.

Slowikowski, S. S. & Newell, K. M. (1990). The philology of
Kinesiology, 42, 279-296.

Areas of study in the Department of Kinesiology here at U. of
Illinois range from sub-cellular to socio-cultural, and
include pedagogical kinesiology and theraputic kinesiology.

Good luck with your restructuring.

Les Carlton

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
Les G. Carlton
233C Louise Freer Hall
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
906 S. Goodwin
Urbana, IL 61801
(217) 244-3986

>From ag239@columbia.eduTue Jan 31 12:38:08 1995
Date: Tue, 24 Jan 1995 11:45:50 -0500 (EST)
From: Antoinette Gentile
To: qpd800@aixrs1.hrz.uni-essen.de
Subject: kinesiology

Dear Professor Hennig:

About 15 years ago, our department went through the process of changing
the name from Physical Education to Movement Sciences and Education.
We considered several possible names, including kinesiology. At that
time, the department offered Masters and doctoral programs in the areas
of: motor learning (broadly defined to include biomechanical analysis and
study of neuromotor processes), psychosocial aspects of human movement,
applied physiology (including cardiovascular and muscle functions), and
curriculum and teaching in physical education. We rejected the name
kinesiology because in the US it had typically been associated basic
mechanics of motion and applied anatomy. We felt that the designation
Movement Sciences was broader and more appropriate to cover the diverse
areas within the department. Education was added to the title to indicate
the applied orientation of the department.


Professor and Chair

>From vmcdonald@sdmail.jsc.nasa.govTue Jan 31 12:38:24 1995
Date: 24 Jan 1995 11:22:36 U
From: "McDonald, Vernon"
To: "Ewald M. Hennig"
Subject: RE: Kinesiology

Karl Newell, while Dept. Head at Univ. of Illinois instituted a name
change to Kinesiology and then wrote 4 papers which I recommend to you. I
think they were published in Quest and/or Research Quarterly for Ex. and
Sport. By the way, Karl Newell is now dept head at Penn State Univ.

Vernon McDonald

Newell KM (1992) Kinesiology: Activity Focus, Knowledge Types and Degree

Newell KM (1992) Kinesiology: The label for the study of physical activity
in higher education.

Newell KM (1992) Physical Education in Higher Education: Chaos out of Order.

Slowikowski SS, Newell KM (1992) The Philology of Kinesiology.

>From 3DAK6@QUCDN.QueensU.CATue Jan 31 12:38:42 1995
Date: Tue, 24 Jan 95 15:53:32 EST
From: Derek Kozar
To: "Ewald M. Hennig"
Subject: Re: Kinesiology

I am a former student at the University of Western Ontario in Canada, in the
fuculty of Physical Education. Recently they changed their program name to
Kinesiology. I suggest that you might get in touch with the dean there,
Dr. A.W. Taylor for his opinions and reasons for the name change.

>From rkram@garnet.berkeley.eduTue Jan 31 12:38:54 1995
Date: Tue, 24 Jan 1995 13:35:16 -0800
From: Rodger Kram
To: "Ewald M. Hennig"
Subject: Re: Kinesiology

Greetings Ewald:

My department is called Human Biodynamics, also formerly Physical
Education. Biodynamics is also the subheading for the journal Medicine and
Science in Sprorts and Exercise. The name usually gets mis-spelled, and
most people usually ask, what is that? The advantage of a new name is that
it removes old sterotypes and allows us to re-define what we are. We are
exercise physiologists, biomechanists and motor control scientists.
Currently our dept. still has sports psych and history faculty, but frankly
our dept. is becoming more and more of a biology dept. Since my training
is largely biology and zoology that is ok with me. Biodynamics usually
makes engineers feel more comfortable than pure Biology.

so consider "Biodynamiks"

warm regards,

Rodger Kram

>From t.barker@qut.edu.auTue Jan 31 12:39:04 1995
Date: Wed, 25 Jan 1995 09:05:37 +1000
From: Timothy Barker
To: "Ewald M. Hennig"
Subject: Re: Kinesiology


In reply to your message,

Although dated this paper may be of relevance :

A.E. Atwater
Kinesiology/Biomechanics: Perspectives & Trends.
research Quarterly for Exercise & Sport. 1980,51(1):193-218.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Dr Timothy M Barker email t.barker@qut.edu.au
Lecturer in Medical Engineering phone (07) 864 5103
School of Mechanical & Manufacturing fax (07) 864 1469
Queensland University of Technology
GPO Box 2434
Brisbane. QLD 4001
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

>From PMILBURN@gandalf.otago.ac.nzTue Jan 31 12:39:13 1995
Date: Wed, 25 Jan 1995 14:05:05 GMT+1200
From: Peter Milburn
To: qpd800@aixrs1.hrz.uni-essen.de
Subject: Re: Kinesiology

The issue was well-discussed in a series of artciles appearing in
"Quest" in Volume 42 (1990) (specifically, Newell, pp 243-268,
269-278; 335-342; Siedentop, pp 315-322; Slowikowski & Newell, pp
279-296) and
Volume 43 (1991) Thomas, pp 218-223,. In Newell's article in Volume
42 (pp. 227-242) there is a list of 69 academic department labels.
Thomas' articel succintly defines the problem (p 218) that we are
trying "...to attach names and symbols to a phenomenon with which we
have not yet come to grips in terms of existential characteristics".

My primary concern would be defining clearly what one does rather than
trying to define either the department in which one resides or the
name by which one defines their disciplinary interests. I refer you
to the difficulty within biomechanics in defining the boundaries of our
discipline, let
alone trying to delimit the whole discipline(s) that studies the
human body in its myriad forms of motion!.

Good luck with your efforts


Peter D. Milburn
Postgraduate Physiotherapy
University of Otago
PO Box 913
New Zealand
Tel 64-3-4797460
Fax 64-3-4790401

>From belliott@uniwa.uwa.edu.auTue Jan 31 12:39:23 1995
Date: Wed, 25 Jan 1995 10:49:56 +0800
From: Bruce Elliot
To: "Ewald M. Hennig"
Subject: Re: Kinesiology

Our Department went through the same process and finally for the reasons
set out in your email (pedagogy empha, that Human Movement Science is a
better option.
Bruce Elliott

>From KIHEISE@LSUVM.SNCC.LSU.EDUTue Jan 31 12:39:36 1995
Date: Tue, 24 Jan 95 17:16:07 CST
To: "Ewald M. Hennig"
Subject: Re: Kinesiology


Here at LSU our department name is Kinesiology and our 3 areas of
graduate study are: motor behavior, ex.phys., and pedagogy.
In my opinion, our dept. embraces the more general definition
you provided.
Sincerely, Gary D. Heise

>From EVANS@phe.utoronto.caTue Jan 31 12:39:47 1995
Date: Wed, 25 Jan 1995 07:55:45 -0500
From: EVANS@phe.utoronto.ca
To: "Ewald M. Hennig"
Subject: Re: Kinesiology

We have considered (and will soon) change the name of our PE
program. Currently we are known as the "School of Physical and Health
Education" (there are only 2 named as such in Canada). The push is on
to make us the "Faculty of PHE". While the research and graduate
programs are good here, the majority of the undergraduate students
still wish to become teachers and physical educators. As such many
individuals are opposed to a change in name to "Kinesiology" for the
reasons you mentioned. Other names that have been suggested include:
"Exercise and Health Science", "Human Biodynamics", "Physical
Activity and Health Education", "Human Kinetics" etc... Our School
wants to increase the emphasis on "health" and therefore "Kinesiology"
was deemed inappropriate. Just one other point to mention; some
people feel that by having "Physical Education" in the name of the
program is a hinderance when it comes to obtaining research grants.
I suppose the name of your program should suit the undergraduate
curriculum while taking into account the research aspects.

Richard Evans
Biomechanics Laboratory
School of Physical and Health Education
University of Toronto

e-mail: evans@phe.utoronto.ca

>From cassin@me.QueensU.CATue Jan 31 12:39:59 1995
Date: Wed, 25 Jan 1995 10:25:20 -0500 (EST)
From: Jeff Cassin
To: "Ewald M. Hennig"
Subject: Re: Kinesiology

Perhaps you could try something like "Department of Movement Studies",
since this would encompass kinesiology and pedagogy, for sure, and if you
try really hard, you can tell yourself that sport psych and sport history
are based in movement as well.

Jeff Cassin Clinical Mechanics Group
cassin@conn.me.queensu.ca Dept. of Mechanical Engineering
Queen's University
Kingston, Ontario, Canada

>From dapena@valeri.hper.indiana.eduTue Jan 31 12:40:19 1995
Date: Wed, 25 Jan 95 15:55:51 -0500
From: dapena@valeri.hper.indiana.edu
To: "Ewald M. Hennig"
Subject: Re: Kinesiology

Hi, Ewald!

Our Department changed its name from Department of Physical
Education to Department of Kinesiology a couple of years ago. As you
the etimology of the word Kinesiology refers to all movements, bio or
bio, although this word is often used in a restricted sense limited to
movement. Because of that, I think that this was not a good choice,
although a very frequent choice in the United States. I personally
the name "Department of Exercise Science".


Jesus Dapena
Department of Kinesiology
Indiana University
Bloomington, IN 47405, USA
1-812-855-8407 (office phone)
dapena@valeri.hper.indiana.edu (email)

>From dowlingj@mcmail.CIS.McMaster.CATue Jan 31 12:40:34 1995
Date: Thu, 26 Jan 1995 17:50:27 +0001 (EST)
From: James Dowling
To: "Ewald M. Hennig"
Subject: Re: Kinesiology

Hello Ewald,
Our department has had a history not unlike yours and has recently
changed its name from Physical Education to Kinesiology. The name change
did not come about without resistance. The resistance was from my
colleagues who are on the behavioural and pedagogical side of our program
who also felt that kinesiology had a more focused definition related to
mechanics and functional anatomy. We discussed names such as Human
Movement Studies but decided that if kinesiology was defined as the study
of human movement, then it would be convenient to have the shorter name.
We believe that within that definition, human movement can be studied
biomechanically , anatomically, physiologically, sociologically,
philosophically, historically, developmentally, etc. It is my hope that
if enough departments that look at human movement from diverse
perspectives change their names to kinesiology, then we can move away
from the association that kinesiology is merely biomechanics and that the
names can be used interchangeably.

Best of luck with it.

Jim Dowling
Dept. of Kinesiology
McMaster University
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

>From the-concourse-on-highTue Jan 31 12:41:15 1995
Date: Sun, 29 Jan 95 13:59:24 -0500
To: dxi: : , "qpd800@aixrs1.hrz.uni-essen.de"@aixrs1.hrz.uni-essen.de ; ;
Cc: HOLDEN@aixrs1.hrz.uni-essen.de
Subject: Re: Kinesiology

Dear Ewald,

Regarding your recent Biomch-L posting on "kinesiology" as a possible
new name for your department, note that one local university here has a
kinesiology program within a department of health and human performance.
"Health and human performance" (or some variation) may provide the more
general meaning that you are seeking.

Best wishes to you and to Sigi. I look forward to seeing you both again,
and to you two and Mary being able to meet sometime in the future.

John Holden (holden%bmlvax.dnet@dxi.nih.gov)

>From dtoo@nevada.eduTue Jan 31 12:41:27 1995
Date: Sun, 29 Jan 1995 17:17:35 -0800 (PST)
To: qpd800@aixrs1.hrz.uni-essen.de
Subject: Kinesiology

Hi Evald:

Regarding the debates, arguements, concerns, comments and evolution of
physical education to kinesiology (or other names), I would suggest
reading the December 1990, vol 42, No 3 issue of Quest (National
Association for Physical Education in Higher Education). The entire
issue is devoted to a discussion of the evolution of physical education
and an appropriate name change. The various articles, from different
perspectives, are very enlightening with commentary from various
individuals responding to the issues raised. I believe it will assist
you in determining what the most appropriate name for your department
should be.

Danny Too

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* University of Nevada Las Vegas Fax: (702)-895-4231 *
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The End

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* Biomechanik / Fb-2 (Sport) * TEL 49-201-44 44 05 *
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