Biokinetics – the development of a health profession from physical education - a historical perspective

  • Gert L Strydom School of Biokinetics, Recreation and Sport Science, North-West University, Potchefstroom, Republic of South Africa
Keywords: Biokinetics, Exercise, Physical activity, Health, Profession


In the Government Gazette of 9 September 1983, Biokinetics was announced to have been registered with the Professional Board of Medical Science at the South African Medical and Dental Council. This registration heralded the beginning of a new profession of Biokinetics, which would position specialised exercise science as a health profession that aimed not only at contributing to the curative sciences but also to the promotion of health and wellness. This milestone in the history of Biokinetics occurred after a long process of deliberations with other role players in the health profession. In some cases serious resistance against this new discipline existed – not only from other disciplines but also among scientists in the field of exercise science. Since this historical event the profession of Biokinetics has gone from strength to strength. With 536 professionals on the register of the Health Professions Council of South Africa as on 18 November 2004 and 10 tertiary institutions providing training to approximately 130 students per year the profession can become a profession that contributes to the spreading of the message of the responsibility that individuals have for their own health and wellness. In this respect some medical aid funds supported this philosophy of health promotion, as the curative treatment of health problems are becoming increasingly expensive and are burdening health-care costs. At present qualified professionals are found all over the world practising their profession and making superb contributions, although not always under the name of Biokinetics.

South African Journal for Research in Sport, Physical Education and Recreation Vol. 27(2) 2005: 113-128

Journal Identifiers

print ISSN: 0379-9069