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Ontario integrates kinesiology into healthcare

Apr. 1, Toronto, Ont. – Today, the Ontario Kinesiology Association welcomes the establishment of the College of Kinesiologists of Ontario. 


April 1, 2013
By Massage Therapy Canada

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“Becoming
a regulated health profession has been a priority for the Ontario Kinesiology
Association (OKA) for almost a decade,” said Sabrina Francescut, President of
the OKA. “This is an important step to more effectively integrating exercise
and physical activity into Ontario’s healthcare system.”


“Kinesiologists
are an important part of health care services in Ontario,” said Deb
Matthews, Minister of Health and Long-term Care. “The newly established College
of Kinesiologists of Ontario brings greater public accountability to the work
they do. Patients can be confident that no matter where they receive care, they
are receiving high-quality care from trained professionals.” 


Kinesiology
is the science of human movement. Kinesiologists are university-trained experts
on movement and exercise, applying evidenced-based research to improve
function, health and wellness using the principles of biomechanics, anatomy,
physiology and psychomotor behaviour. 


Ontario
is a world leader in kinesiology.  The first university degree in
kinesiology worldwide was granted at the University of Waterloo in 1970.
Ontario is now the first jurisdiction worldwide to regulate kinesiologists as
health professionals.


“One
of the largest barriers to bringing exercise into the frontline of chronic
disease prevention and management has been the lack of professional licensing
for kinesiologists,” said Ms. Francescut. “The Ontario Kinesiology Association
congratulates the Government of Ontario for recognizing the value kinesiologists
can bring to healthcare and for continuing to place Ontario at the forefront of
kinesiology worldwide.”


Physical
activity and exercise is one of the single most effective means to prevent and
manage chronic disease; enhance recovery from injury or illness; reduce
pain; and improve the overall health and well-being of Ontarians.


According
to the Public Health Agency of Canada, “Physical activity has been shown to
reduce the risk of over 25 chronic conditions.”


The
creation of the College of Kinesiologists of Ontario sets the stage for the
Government of Ontario to increase the role of exercise and movement in the
prevention and management of chronic disease, pain and injury, significantly improving
patient outcomes while reducing costs to the healthcare system.


The
cost of medical treatment and lost productivity for chronic diseases in Ontario
such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer and lung diseases
is estimated at $80 billion annually and that number is climbing.


A properly structured exercise program can
significantly reduce the risk of developing diabetes, hypertension, and colon
cancer.  Physical activity enhances mental health, fosters healthy
muscles, bones and joints and helps maintain function to preserve and extend
independence in older adults.


Exercise can cut in half the risk of dying from a second
heart event; be twice as effective in treating type 2 diabetes than standard
insulin administration alone; reduce mortality and the risk of recurrent cancer
by 50 per cent; and can be an effective treatment for mild depression.


“The
job now is to raise awareness among physicians and other healthcare
professionals about the opportunity to work with kinesiologists to effectively
bring exercise and physical activity into the frontline of chronic disease
prevention and management,” Ms. Francescut said.  

 


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