The human body is a dynamic organism- it is built to MOVE! Unfortunately we have created a social norm in the workplace built on sedentary work. The workplace is designed to keep us seated at computers, work desks, in practice rooms, while driving, in class/meetings/rehearsals, etc. but it goes against the natural environment that the human body thrives. It is important to remember to keep balance within our work space. We must take frequent breaks of short duration (called microbreaks) to add movement to our lives. Microbreaks can help prevent injury by helping us avoid repetitive stress incurred from staying in one position for too long. It is just as important to note that microbreaks can also help us keep higher levels of focus and energy while working, which will make our work more productive!
I recommend several practice sessions that are 15-20 minutes in length. In between these sessions, we should take at least 1 microbreak before we prepare for our next session. Here are some examples of microbreaks designed to keep you healthy and focused.
Each video is categorized into one of the the following four categories:
Sitting- These microbreaks that can be done while seated. These microbreaks are also helpful for ensemble musicians taking advantage of some downtime.
Standing- These microbreaks are best done while standing. They do require some space, but are easy to do in a practice room.
Floor- These microbreaks are best done while seated or lying down on the floor. They will require a softer surface (such as carpet or a soft mat) and may have clothing restrictions (e.g. I probably wouldn’t do these in my tux!). Shoes are optional, but whenever I have the choice, I prefer to do them without shoes.
Moving- These microbreaks require low to moderate movement and are designed to help invigorate musicians through a small amount of increased blood flow and heart rate.
Additional equipment (e.g. massage balls, ropes, etc.) that is needed is described in each video.