Exercise science is the science of human movement and the associated functional responses and adaptations. Students who are studying exercise sciences learn how to help people live healthier lives through exercise, physical rehabilitation, and nutrition. Sub-fields within exercise science may include sports management, athletic training, pre-physical therapy, and almost always kinesiology (the mechanics and anatomy of human movement, the most science oriented of the subfields).

As a field of academic study, exercise science grew from the physical culture movement of the 1800s, whose goal was to improve the health of the working class through dance and sports. Early university programs were created before 1900 such as the Department of Anatomy, Physiology and Physical Training at Harvard University. While this program focused on science training and premedical ...

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