Wellness for Makers: A Movement Guide for Artists

Missy Graff Ballone. Schiffer, $22.99 (128p) ISBN 978-0-7643-6321-4

“I have met too many artists who are willing to accept that they are likely to develop chronic pain and injury as a result of their studio practice,” writes Ballone, an artist and massage therapist, in her encouraging debut, a guide to creating “more-healthful” habits. A brief overview of why regular movement is so important gives way to a look at ideal standing and sitting postures: when upright, avoid hunching or tilting the pelvis forward. And since “it can be more physically challenging to keep an upright posture while sitting than standing,” it’s important to keep one’s head, shoulders, and hips vertically aligned when in a chair. A chapter on common craft-related misalignments will be especially of interest to working artists: potters should be sure to focus on keeping their wrists in neutral positions, while artists who do lots of “pinching and gripping” would do well to engage in hand strengthening exercises. “Movement breaks” with tasks and exercises appear throughout and include setting a timer to change up positions every 20 minutes, and daily worksheets will help readers note their habits. None of the stretches, exercises, or postures are complicated—it’s pretty simple stuff, and Ballone’s tips serve as a great reminder to switch things up. Achy artists will find this a boon. (June)
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