Modern day lifestyle, (machines now doing our manuel work, elevators instead of stairs) have put the human being at risk with respect to health, and the chances of survival. One of the highest risks is lack of physical activity as this causes deterioration of the human being's function which may result in premature death.
In 1850 in the United States of America 30% of all labour was manual,done by human beings, in 1950 it was only 0.9%. A then "modern prophet" said: "In the year 1955 we will have moving pavements and in the year 2000 due to the deterioration of public health it will be illegal, and people will be forced by law to walk for one hour daily."
As a result of this the need, a biokinetic service arised. Biokinetics is a medically recognised professional discipline, applying scientifically based physical activity, to either help prevent diseases or to do final phase rehabilitation following the onset of disease.
The word Biokinetics is taken from the Greek word "BIOS" which means "life" and "KINESIS" which means "movement". In other words the maintenance of life through the use of physical activity.
What is a Biokineticist?
A biokineticist is an exersice specialist who increases a persons physical condition and the quality of life by means of physical assesment and the prescription of healthy exersice habits. The biokineticist is one of the members of the allied medical team who specialises in preventitive medicine and final phase rehabilitation to improve the quality of life through movement.
What does a Biokineticist do?
The following is regarded as actions belonging to the profession:
- Evaluation of a persons physical status
- Prescription of safe physical activity programmes
- Prescription of rehabilitation programmes in conjunction with doctors or other members of the allied medical team
- Physical selection, the ergological evaluation, choice and conditioning of individuals for specific tasks
During a days work including the above mentioned activities, a biokineticist makes use of scientific methods an instruments such as treadmills, bicycle ergometers, isokinetic strenth dynamometers, pulse frequency monitors, blood pressure apparatus and skinfold calipers.
Whith the patients general history and the above mentioned apparatus the individuals can be classified into the following categories:
- high risk
- low risk
- no risk
and an appropriate exersice programme can be prescribed. Although biokineticists may conduct tests for specific medical conditions, the interpretation of results to reach diagnoses of deviation may not be done.