When lifting objects, back injuries can be avoided if you:
- Keep a wide base of support. Spread your feet apart with one foot slightly ahead of the other to make yourself more stable.
- Keep the object close to you. The farther the object is from you the more pressure there is on your low back.
- Bend your knees and hips. To pick up or set down objects you need to get your hands down to that level. Don’t bend over at the waist, bend your hips and knees.
Maintain your low back curve. This is the key! Lock in the spine so that
you maintain that slightly inward curve in your low back.
- Do not twist or bend sideways. Face the object you are picking up or working on.
If you must turn to change your direction, pivot on your feet.
- Push rather than pull. Pushing is easier for your back. Brace your hands
on the object, lock your natural curve in your spine and slightly bend your knees. This will give you lots of pushing power—safely!
- Use a step stool.
If you must reach over shoulder level, use a step stool to get up closer to the object to avoid more strain on the low back. It’s not the weight of the object but the position of your back that causes injuries.
- Get help. If the object is too heavy or the size or shape is too awkward, ask for help
or use some equipment designed to assist you.