College students are not traditionally renowned for their healthy habits. Between meals in the cafeteria, late-night trips to the vending machine, and the onus to imbibe one’s body weight in liquor at frat parties, it’s no wonder the freshman fifteen is an appallingly accurate stereotype. Lack of sleep and exercise doesn’t help much, either. That said, a select group of college students definitely fall into the opposite camp. They are dedicated to health and fitness, even as the majority of their peers show a preference for beer pong and naps on the quad. If you happen to be among the small number of college students labeling themselves health nuts, here are a few options for majors that are right up your alley.
The old adage “you are what you eat” is true in a figurative sense, as the foods and beverages we consume have everything to do with our overall state of health. Getting proper nutrients is an essential part of survival. Equally important in this day and age is avoiding environmental toxins in the consumption process. With a degree in nutrition, students could go on to work in a diverse array of fields, such as individual food counseling, a focus on dealing with digestive disorders, working with school districts, or even jobs with the FDA.
This science is dedicated to studying the mechanics of body movements. So what can you do with a degree in kinesiology? Some students end up becoming personal trainers, coaches, Olympic trainers, or physical education instructors. Others lean toward professional sports or performance arts like dance. You could also manage a health club or spa, become a sports agent, or even work in a medical facility.
- Physical Therapy
As a healthy individual, you may be inclined to help others who have not been so fortunate. Physical therapy majors will learn how to help patients heal from injuries, as well as regain function in their daily lives through targeted rehabilitation practices.
- Fermentation Sciences
This degree is not offered at very many colleges, and you might think it is intended for people interested in opening microbreweries or managing vineyards. Okay, fermentation sciences is definitely the degree program for such professions. However, it can also be a way for health-conscious students to learn more about the current fermented food revival. With more and more scientists and doctors studying gut flora and the gut/brain axis, the role that fermented foods are playing in balancing good and bad bacteria in the gut and returning people to a healthier state is becoming increasingly relevant. Those with degrees in fermentation sciences could be at the forefront of this food revolution.
- Health informatics
Whether you apply at UCLA, UM, or New England College, you want to choose a major that not only appeals to your interest in healthy living, but also offers you career opportunities. The growing field of health informatics can deliver on both scores. With a suspected drought of healthcare professionals over the next 10-20 years, the cost of healthcare sky-high, and more people relying on devices for all manner of everyday needs, it’s no surprise that the health informatics field is growing in leaps and bounds. The future of healthcare may indeed lie in at-home devices, targeted apps, monitoring services, and to a degree, self-directed healthcare. You can help to shape and manage this expanding field with a degree in health informatics.