What Is Kinesthetic Learning? (With Benefits and Examples)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published June 26, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Learning styles impact how people receive knowledge, follow instructions, and remain productive in a job. Kinesthetic learning is a style where people pursue interactive training methods to learn how to complete a task. Exploring this hands-on style can help you determine whether you're a kinesthetic learner and if applying it might improve your performance at work. In this article, we define kinesthetic learning, demonstrate its benefits in the workplace, review how to promote it, examine a few jobs suitable for kinesthetic learners, and provide some examples.

What is kinesthetic learning?

In kinesthetic learning, people process information through touch and movement. Training on the job, creating simulations, and conducting experiments are all examples of this learning style. You may also refer to it as tactile or physical learning. Kinesthetic learners move their bodies and engage with their settings to better learn and retain knowledge. They favour active participation over passive observation. Typically, they learn by trial and error rather than by accepting the knowledge offered to them. They prefer practical learning over theoretical concepts.

Related: All about Learning on the Job (With Pros and Cons)

Benefits of this learning style

Although some people may be predominantly kinesthetic learners, most have learned by secondary or tertiary methods. Other kinds of learners, such as those who learn best with visual observation, may also benefit from kinesthetic exercises. There are several advantages to this style of learning, including:

  • Improved retention of information: Movement and physical connection may aid in the retention of knowledge.

  • Enhanced muscular memory: Frequently, this learning style involves the physical repetition of activities, which strengthens muscle memory and enhances knowledge retention.

  • More engaged involvement: Movement may increase energy, which can help participants maintain concentration throughout training. People may also engage more with passive knowledge and written or vocal instructions following reinforcement by active exploration and application.

  • Refined risk assessment: This form of learning often promotes rational risk-taking as trainees experiment with new ideas and tools. Risk-taking may foster creativity and progress in both the trainees and companies.

  • Enhanced independence and self-assurance: Typically, trainees learn at their own pace, which allows them to explore and practise new processes for as long as necessary before they master them. This technique may promote individual development and self-assurance by allowing trainees to evaluate their progress over time rather than comparing it with others.

How to promote this learning style in the workplace

If you're a kinesthetic learner or want to use this learning technique to improve your performance at work, you might consider the following:

1. Ask for active office furniture

The principle behind active furniture is maintaining the capacity to do certain jobs unaffected by repeated motions. Using a treadmill desk or an exercise ball at a traditional desk to increase your physical activity while working might help your memory and concentration. You might also use a height-adjustable standing desk that allows you to modify your posture.

2. Set a timer for work

Setting a timer may help you increase your productivity by allowing you to maintain your concentration and dedication to your work. In addition to helping you reduce distractions, setting a timer can help you to do more in less time. As kinesthetic learners frequently function best in short durations, consider using a timer or clock to restrict your work periods. Take a short rest every 30 minutes to divide the monotony and increase productivity.

3. Move around while working

Walk around the workplace while on the phone, reviewing papers, or doing other tasks where you're not seated. This extra physical exercise may enhance your productivity and concentration. You may also improve your blood flow without interrupting your work.

4. Take notes

While you sit throughout meetings, taking notes might help you maintain mental engagement. By moving your hands and writing your ideas, you are using physical movement to help process information more effectively. Taking notes might also serve as a reference if you want to review the material later on.

Related: 7 Note-Taking Apps You Can Consider Using (With Tips)

5. Use visuals

Transform information you receive into graphs, diagrams, and flashcards. Consider using a whiteboard or similar presenting tool to arrange information actively while preparing a presentation. You can also create distinctive visuals to highlight various issues.

6. Consider diverse learning styles

Many people use a variety of learning methods, while others learn best with just one. When assembling a team, try to include those with diverse learning styles. The various techniques may complement one another and result in enhanced critical thinking, more inventive solutions, and better professional connections.

7. Pursue possibilities for immersion training

Participate in active demonstrations, simulations, and other tasks. You can try to take advantage of chances to leave the workplace, such as fieldwork, off-site meetings, and even outdoor breaks. Consider enrolling in skill-building seminars that provide practical application of theoretical topics.

Related: A Guide to Self-Discovery (With Definition and Benefits)

Example careers for kinesthetic learners

Kinesthetic learners are best suited to professions that offer physical activity and mental stimulation. If you are a kinesthetic learner, you might be successful in the following roles:

1. Sports coach

National average salary: $37,413 per year

Primary duties: Coaches train athletes of all ages and skill levels in a variety of sports. They often use visualizations and physical demonstrations to explain plays and proper techniques to an individual player or team. They may take notes during games or other competitions to understand where athletes are successful and where they can improve. Coaches learn how to lead teams following years of participating in and analyzing sports.

2. Automotive mechanic

National average salary: $68,661 per year

Primary duties: Auto mechanics assess and repair a variety of vehicles and often work in independent auto shops or dealership repair departments. They use critical thinking and problem-solving to determine what repairs are necessary. They receive hands-on training while learning their trade and perform diverse physical tasks to inspect vehicles, find solutions and carry out repairs.

3. Physician

National average salary: $251,099 per year

Primary duties: Medical doctors treat patients in a variety of settings, including hospitals and private practices. They often use critical thinking and problem-solving skills to diagnose patients and prescribe the most effective treatments. Their years of training often include interactive laboratory work and residencies that involve treating patients under supervising physicians.

Examples of this kind of learning

Training programs for kinesthetic learners include several learning strategies. Here are some examples:

Hands-on simulations

Hands-on simulations allow kinesthetic learners to practise new ideas and gain the skills necessary to educate themselves on how to complete various tasks. For example, during a training session for a new software program, the supervisor might ask the trainees to use the software to complete a task rather than watching a video presentation. Similarly, kinesthetic learners might prefer participating in a demonstration of safety procedures for operating industrial machines rather than discussing them during a safety training session.

Related: The 6 Types of Work Environments

Animations

Animation technology allows trainers to produce animated representations of practically any process, activity, and idea used by kinesthetic learners. Animations are a good alternative when it's not possible to do hands-on simulations. For example, in an interactive animation of a new machine, the trainees might be able to click on various parts of the machine to see how they work or even do whole jobs digitally.

Related: How to Become an Animator

Role-playing exercises

Through role-playing, kinesthetic learners rehearse activities and interactions that they may experience in their jobs. For example, new customer service employees may engage in role-playing to rehearse how they might help a dissatisfied client. The other trainees may then comment on what went well and what they can improve. Groups can then divide into pairs to practise their customer service techniques.

Interactive documents

Presentations and documents can be more interactive by including multiple-choice questions and drag-and-drop activities. For example, trainers can check on how much information trainees retained after seeing a slide presentation and reading informational sections. Using interactive documents may enhance their memory and understanding.

Microlearning lessons

You can condense education into brief, engaging courses using micro-learning. Classes using this strategy typically last between three and five minutes, which motivates trainers to present just the necessary and most relevant information. Usually, micro-learning courses take place online and so they might appeal to kinesthetic learners who are proficient with technology.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at the time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organization and a candidate's experience, academic background, and location.

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