Implications of the Term Kinesiology in the Professional Form and Background of this Discipline. First Part: A Journey Towards its Origin

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Máximo Escobar-Cabello; Mariano del Sol & Rodrigo Muñoz-Cofré


An internal consistency is derived from the term Kinesiology’s etymological root and its linguistic precision, when taking into consideration the implications of the term, both in education as well as its de nition. Historically, this has led to an interpretative polysemy fraught with errors and inconsisten- cies. This becomes evident more so, when the term Kinesiology is analyzed, taking into consideration geographical regions, its application in re ection or action contexts, organizations that make use of it, and whether words used actually describe the professional or the discipline action that justi es the term. In this context, the objective of this research was to analyze the term Kinesiology in its historical aspect, to reconstruct its implications in professional training and the relevance that determines the guidelines of the phenomenon for which it is responsible. The term Kinesiology originates from Greek κινησιολογια meaning the study of movement. From the historical point of view, the relationship concept between movement and the human body has taken more than a thousand years, beginning with Aristotle and ending with Giovanni Alfonso Borelli. Subsequently, the development of this discipline is linked to three major movements: The Swedish, the French and the American. The Swedish School led by Per Henrik Ling at the Royal Central Institute of Gymnastics (RICG), mate- rialized by Branting and Georgii between 1828 and 1854, through the term Kinesiologi rst and kinésithérapie later, was declared as a new science of movement that encompassed the principles of a precise and harmonious development of the human body. At the same time, in France, Nicolas Dally, published in 1857 his mag- num opus “Cinesiologie ou science du movement” declaring the irregularity of physiotherapy and kinesitherapy to dose exercise. Finally, Nils Posse conceived the term “Kinesiology” for the rst time in North America in his 1886 publication entitled: “Modi- cation of the Swedish system of gymnastics to meet American conditions”. In Chile, evolution of these concepts was assimilated by Joaquín Cabezas García in 1920, the driving force behind the cultivation of Kinesiology at the Institute of Physical Education, providing the professionals who were trained in teaching, with a clear epistemological concept of the science of human movement, by including this discipline in their study plans.

KEY WORDS: Kinesiology; Science; Movement; Human Body.

How to cite this article

ESCOBAR-CABELLO, M.; DEL SOL, M. & RODRIGO MUÑOZ-COFRÉ, R. Implications of the term kinesiology in the professional form and background of this discipline. First part: A journey towards its origin. Int. J. Morphol., 40(5):1376-1385, 2022.