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PEOPLE

Just move! Tips from an expert on keeping your body in top form

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Office workers spend hours each day sitting at their desks, which can cause a wide range of ailments and injuries. So we spoke to Colin Symmonds, CEO and founder of Joint Dynamics, Hong Kong’s first ever multi-disciplinary studio specialising in preventing and treating movement impairments and injuries, to find out how to improve our health and how he wants to nurture the community at his new studio in Taikoo Place’s Dorset House.

1. What is Joint Dynamics?
We are the only studio in Hong Kong that integrates the three disciplines of physiotherapy, personal training and massage therapy. Our brand philosophy is intelligent movement, as we believe that people just need to move and to move often! It doesn’t matter what you do, our brains are built for motion. We use several different movement philosophies here but everything we offer has some level of good science behind it.

2. What are some of the most common reasons people come to see you?
The male ego! Most expats in Hong Kong are here because they’re at the top of their game and are very driven, and that transcends into their exercise as well. So there will be rugby players playing in a top league, for instance, when really they should move down a league. This kind of mentality can lead to injuries. People are weekend warriors here, and exercise has really taken over from a drinking culture among expats.

“We make your exercise regime support your life rather than being your life, in the same way that work should not be your life.”
Colin Symmonds

3. Why did you decide to open a space in Quarry Bay?
Many businesses now realise that staff productivity is directly related to their well-being. We make your exercise regime support your life rather than being your life, in the same way that work should not be your life. We try to make exercise a very positive thing in your life, as when you find something you love you are much more likely to make it a sustainable part of your life.

We have a bigger space here with very few machines, because the whole idea is that you need to be able to move your own body and control your own weights. This also means we can offer more group classes, like Gucci in Taikoo Place have signed up for group classes twice a week for their staff.

4. What kinds of classes do you hold for corporate groups?
There are strength training classes for people who want to get better at running. We offer ergonomic assessments, you would be much better to move every 30 to 45 minutes for anything between 30 seconds and two minutes. Standing up desks are great but what your body wants is variety. Go and sit in a squat to take a phone call. We have worked with JP Morgan’s staff to find some ways of mitigating the downsides of sitting for 14 hour days. We teach corporations about sleep science, stress management and meditative practices. We talk about the benefits of exercise for cognitive development and how it would be much better to let our clients’ children run around and fall out of trees than see tutors every day.

5. You host some interesting community programmes. Tell us about them.
We have connections with several charities, including Run Hong Kong, which we offer training to. There are several refugee women who are going to do a 100K run, and these women are amazing. At our studios, we host Inside Scoop events, where our experts present on a topic such as skiing in November. Through providing free education, we also give back to the community.

6. Do you treat any elite athletes?
We work with the New Zealand All Blacks when they are in town, ultra-distance runners Samantha Chan and Andre Blumberg, MMA title holder Rodrigo Capora, and David Gething, who ran seven marathons across seven continents in seven days. He was my vet before and we used to drink cheap beer together, and then he turned into this awesome athlete! He is a huge inspiration.

7. What is the most memorable thing that has ever happened to you at work?
I remember working as a physio in a Johannesburg hospital ICU and getting a call at 2am from the doctors saying they had tried everything with a patient whose oxygen levels were decreasing and I was basically their last resort. So I spent 45 minutes with him, trying to clear his chest before leaving, and when I came back in the morning he was still alive, so I feel like I have genuinely saved a life. I’m so proud of my profession because of that.

8. Are there any simple things we can do every day to look after our joints and prevent injuries?
Move! The simple thing is to get off your butt and do something that moves your heart rate. Go for massages regularly as it helps you recover after exercise and reduces stress levels. Learn how to breathe properly, and meditate or find a way of stilling yourself. Learn how to measure your success too, as success breeds success.

Joint Dynamics
Suite 1202-05, 12/F Dorset House, Taikoo Place
Tel: 2762 0528 | facebook.com/Joint-Dynamics
Opening hours: Monday - Sunday: 6 am - 9 pm

Now read here to find out the five easy exercises you can do in the office.

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