Lifting and carrying
Improper lifting and carrying is one of the most common triggers of back problems.
Whether you are a construction worker carrying heavy loads of building materials or a homemaker unloading groceries from your car, you need to know how to lift properly to avoid damaging your back.
Check to ensure that you will have good footing while lifting and that the route you will use is clear of obstacles.
Never lift an object that is too heavy for you – get help.
Position your feet and body as close as possible to the object to be lifted. If necessary, slide the object toward you before lifting.
Bend your knees
Bend down to the object using your knees, never lean over the object by bending your back.
Lift straight up
Lift the object to your waist using your legs to do the work with your back as straight and vertical as possible. Use a smooth, even motion.
Don’t do the twist
Never turn by twisting your spine while carrying a load. Turn by moving your feet while keeping your back and head facing straight ahead.
Carry up close or on the shoulder
Carry heavy objects close to your body or put them up on your shoulder.
Put down with care
Don’t get careless when putting the object down. Bend your knees and keep your back straight – basically just reverse the same steps as proper lifting.
Special back support belts are available for jobs that require frequent, heavy lifting.