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Health & Fitness Programs ►Activity Professional Certificate Program with Extenships

Program includes National Certification & an Externship Opportunity

The Activity Professional

In today's healthcare industry, it is more important than ever to have knowledge and skills necessary for providing alternative remedies to patients and clients including encouraging or supervising fitness or recreational activity. There are a wide range of opportunities available in today’s healthcare industry, specifically in the way of assisted living facilities where recreation and activity require much care from trained professionals. Learning more about any massage therapy professional with information and tools that will ensure success in this field.

The Activity Professional Program

This program overviews anatomy and physiology, kinesiology and human pathology in order to understand all the inner working of the human body, how you think about the human body as a health care professional, and how to communicate to colleagues and clients respectively about their bodies. In addition, the program discusses each body system in terms of the major anatomical structures and functions and explains how each system participates in homeostasis. The program further discusses selected major pathologies, including disease definitions and causes, signs and symptoms, diagnostic procedures, and possible treatments. Additionally, the program discusses common issues and changes that occur in each body system throughout the lifespan. The program also covers basic kinesiology principles as they apply to musculoskeletal anatomy and neuromuscular physiology. It emphasizes practical applications for hands-on practice, biomechanics applications for activities of daily living, and whole-body patterns in posture and gait.

Program Objectives

At the conclusion of this program, students will be able to:

  • Describe the organization of the human body
  • Define and differentiate Anatomy, Physiology, Kinesiology, and Pathology.
  • Explain the contribution that each major body system makes to homeostasis of the body
  • Explain basic physiological processes in each of the major body systems
  • Describe selected human diseases in terms of definition, cause, signs and symptoms, diagnostic procedures, and possible treatments for each of the body systems
  • Describe common issues or changes to each body system throughout the lifespan
  • Define introductory kinesiology terms and concepts and relate to manual therapy.
  • Identify skeletal and joint structures, functions, concepts, and alignment principles.
  • Identify muscular structures, functions, and concepts.
  • Describe NM structures and functions. Describe theory and steps in basic NM therapies.
  • Define introductory biomechanical concepts and relate to body-use patterns, manual therapy, and body mechanics.
  • List and define components of ideal and faulty postures. Describe applications of postural assessment to manual therapy treatments and body mechanics.
  • Describe components of gait and relate to pattern recognition and body mechanics.
  • Use Microsoft


  • Describe body planes, cavities, regions, and directional terms
  • Define homeostasis and its importance to the human body
  • Outline the levels of organization of the body, including the body systems
  • Identify the structures and functions of the organelles of a typical human cell


  • Describe the organization of the skeletal system
  • Explain the functions of bone, including its contribution to homeostasis
  • Identify the anatomical structures of the skeletal system, including the major bones of the body
  • Describe selected skeletal system diseases and disorders
  • Describe issues and changes related to the skeletal system at different points in the lifespan


  • Identify the anatomical structures of the muscular system, including the major muscles of the body
  • Explain the basic concept of muscle contraction
  • Describe how the muscular system contributes to homeostasis of the body
  • Describe selected muscular system diseases and disorders
  • Describe issues and changes related to the muscular system at different points in the lifespan


  • Describe the organization of the nervous system
  • Identify the anatomical structures of the nervous system and special senses and their functions
  • Explain how an electrical impulse is conducted through a nerve
  • Explain how the nervous system contributes to the homeostasis of the body
  • Describe selected nervous system and special senses diseases and disorders
  • Describe issues and changes related to the nervous system and special senses at different points in the lifespan


  • Define kinesiology and explain the foundational concepts that that contribute to the study of human motion.
  • Explain why the study of kinesiology has relevance in the application of therapeutic methods.
  • Identify the areas of the body, positions in space, and the frame of reference for directional terminology.
  • Describe basic neuromuscular concepts and therapeutic applications to improve neuromuscular patterning


  • List the structures and functions of the skeletal system.
  • Identify the four primary types of connective tissue found in the body.
  • Name and describe the three classifications of joints in the body.
  • Define a joint and describe its function.
  • Describe a synovial joint in the body, and explain range of motion, including factors that affect it.


  • Define the muscular system and describe its main kinesiological functions.
  • Explain the primary structure and function of the skeletal muscles.
  • Define and motor unit and the all-or-none law.
  • Define how a muscle is named and the origin and insertion of a muscle.
  • Define and describe the myofascial system and the manual techniques that address it.
  • Describe and compare the major divisions of the nervous system.
  • Define a sensorimotor loop and describe how it works in faulty movement patterns.
  • Describe the stretch reflex and a reflex arc.
  • Define a trigger point and its effects and describe the process of trigger point therapy.


  • Describe the primary biomechanical principles and concepts as they relate to massage therapists.
  • Explain the various forces that act on the human body, and the effects they have on movement and posture.
  • Describe several applications of biomechanics to effective and sound body mechanics for the massage practitioner.
  • Define posture and describe the components of optimal upright posture.
  • Explain the varying roles that skeletal muscles have in maintaining posture, as well as in creating movement.
  • Describe the effects of faulty posture and the negative impact it has on the body.
  • Define gait and explain the sequences of the full gait cycle.
  • Describe basic gait assessment methods.
  • Define palpation, and describe how palpation practiced as an art is useful in the massage therapy profession.

Note: This program can be completed in 6 months. However, students will have online access to this program for a 24-month period.

Education and National Certifications

  • Students should have or be pursuing a high school diploma or GED.
  • There are no state approval and/or state requirements associated with this program.
  • There is a National Certification exam available to students who successfully complete this program:
    • Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) Certification Exam

National Certification

Upon successful completion of this Auburn University program, students would be eligible to sit for the Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) exam. Although there are no state approval, state registration or other state requirements for this program, students who complete this program at Auburn University will be prepared and are eligible to sit for this national certification exam. Students who complete this program are encouraged to complete the externship option with their program. Students who complete this program can and do sit for the MOS national certification exams and are qualified, eligible and prepared to do so. Auburn University works with each student to complete the exam application and register the student to take their national certification exam.

Externship / Hands on Training / Practicum

Although not a requirement, once students complete the program, they have the ability to participate in an externship and/or hands on practicum so as to practice the skills necessary to perform the job requirements of a professional in this field. Students will be assisted with completing a resume and/or other requirements necessary to work in this field. All students who complete this program are eligible to participate in an externship and will be placed with a participating organization near their location. Auburn University works with national organizations and has the ability to place students in externship opportunities nationwide.

Note: No refunds can be issued after the start date published in your Financial Award document.