I love this question “so, what do you do for work?” to which I often respond (and marketing people would cringe when I say this) “I’m a kinesiologist and personal trainer…” – actually, if I don’t include the words personal trainer or health coach, quite often I get a polite confused look and request for clarification.
“Oh, a kinees-thee-ologist? I think I’ve heard of that!” I’ve been hearing this for years and I still think it’s funny. I don’t mind that people don’t really know what we do, but thankfully, it IS getting more popular. Us kinesiologists (or kins, for short), are everywhere in this city! Greater Vancouver is lucky to have institutions like UBC, SFU, Cap U, UCFV with amazing programs for the study of kinesiology.
For those that are curious, here is a technical summary about us. Enjoy.
What is a Kinesiologist?
Well, Kinesiologists study Kinesiology – which can be defined in a number of ways as follows:
* The branch of physiology that studies the mechanics and anatomy in relation to human movement.
* Kinesiology addresses physiological, mechanical, and psychological mechanisms. Applications to human health include: Biomechanics and orthopedics, strength & conditioning, sport physiology, rehabilitation, such as physical and occupational therapy, as well as sport and exercise.
* Someone who specializes in the study of human movement. Our field views the body as an interconnected system, and examines the ways in which people move to discover how people injure themselves, develop strong bodies, and engage in dance, play, and other types of movement.
Why work with a kinesiologist?
In Canada, kinesiology is a professional designation associated with the assessment of movement, performance, and function; and the rehabilitation, prevention, and management of disorders to maintain, rehabilitate, and enhance movement, performance, and function in the areas of sport, recreation, work, exercise, and general activities of daily living.
• Health Promotion
Kinesiologists working in the health promotion industry focus on enhancing the health, fitness, and well-being of an individual. Kinesiologists can be found working in fitness facilities, personal training and corporate wellness facilities.
Many Kinesiologists chose work with individuals with disabling conditions to assist in regaining their optimal physical function. We can work along side physiotherapists and occupational therapists to help people recover from physical trauma and surgery, using our training in human movement to develop an exercise program and to help the patient retrain his or her body to cope with an injury. (Yes, us Le Physique-ers do this too!).
Kinesiologists in this industry assess suitability of design of workstations and provide suggestions for modifications and assistive devices. A kinesiologist might consult on the design of a workplace, workout equipment, or furniture to create a design, which will not injure people. (Curious about an ergonomic workshop for your worksite / business? Contact us here!)
• Health and Safety
Kinesiologists are involved in consulting with industry to identify hazards and provide recommendations and solutions to optimize the health and safety of workers.
• Disability Management/Case Coordination
Kinesiologists recommend and provide a plan of action to return an injured individual to their optimal function in all aspects of life.
• Management/Research/Administration/Health and Safety
Kinesiologists frequently fulfill roles in all above areas, perform research, and manage businesses.
Often found with training of elite athletes. Stemming from biomechanical analysis, which focuses on the kinetic energy or the working numbers in execution of technique, however with emphasis placed on muscle and joints as they are involved in the action and the role they play in execution of the technique.
From a technical perspective, you can see how we have many roles, however the job title can range from “personal trainer” to “case manager,” or “rehabilitation specialist” to “coach.” Many kins will further their education and move into more recognized careers such as physician, physiotherapist, chiropractor or naturopath.
At Le Physique Personal Training, one of our goals is to support the field of Kinesiology and provide a career option where the degree is honoured and recognized for it’s solid scientific foundation – upon which the art of personal training is built and cultivated from. We feel that the four (plus) year degree demonstrates a commitment to excellence and education, and the Kins work at Le Physique have a deep passion for helping individuals overcome adversity (sometimes through the recovery of a traumatic injury of their own), or share the joy of sport / activity, but at the end of the day, we really want to have a positive impact on the people we have the opportunity to work with and our community.
One of my favourite sayings is “people don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care,” and gosh darn it , we care! Hopefully you found some clarity in understanding the science of what we kinesiologists do, how it enhances our foundation as personal trainers, and how it translates into bringing you our very best.
So the next time you need assistance in health, fitness and wellness, ask a kinesiologist!