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Program/Course: Kinesiology (BSEd)
Health and Wellbeing Minor
Consistent with Thomas Jefferson’s ideal that “a strong body makes the mind strong,” the mission of the Kinesiology program is to advance the discovery, development, interpretation, dissemination, and application of knowledge that relates the study and practice of human movement and physical activity to health and well-being. As a member of the American Kinesiology Association (AKA), the program’s faculty is committed to the process of learning that includes these interdependent functions:
- The preparation of caring and committed professionals and scholars in physical activity, exercise, sport and rehabilitation who are life-long learners and leaders, able to make critical judgments, and solve difficult problems;
- The development of new knowledge that addresses fundamental and applied research questions and guides professional practice in physical activity, exercise, sport, and rehabilitation in clinics, schools, and other real world settings;
- The design and delivery of physical activity, exercise, sport, and rehabilitation opportunities to enhance quality of life across the lifespan in both able-bodied and disabled populations; and
- The provision of leadership and service to the University, community, and to professional organizations at the state, national, and international level in physical activity, exercise, sport, and rehabilitation.
Kinesiology has evolved into a multidisciplinary approach to the study and application of physical activity that includes biological, medical and health aspects, as well as psychological, behavioral, and social perspectives. The academic discipline of Kinesiology is growing in large part due the recognition that inactivity represents a major societal concern. An emerging body of research indicates that sedentary behavior is associated with reduced quality of life and impaired health, including increased risk of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, certain forms of cancer, depression, and cognitive impairment, increased risk of falls and other injuries, just to name a few. Persons with disabilities inherently face mobility challenges that affect their daily lives and long term health. There is a growing recognition for the need to invest in innovative programs to increase physical activity in children and adolescents, including within the school setting, to combat the national epidemic of childhood inactivity and obesity. At the other end of the lifespan, exciting new research points to the key role that physically activity can play in maintaining an independent lifestyle and both physical and cognitive function of older adults. There is also a critical need to study and develop best practices in the prevention and treatment of injuries and relate this to improved athletic performance, quality of life, and likelihood for maintaining independent living.