How to properly lift to protect the back

A common way for North Carolina workers to injure their backs is by lifting and moving heavy objects and loads. One thing that people may not realize is that the way they are lifting things can make a huge difference in how the stress is spread out across the back. Many back injuries could be prevented through eliminating excess strain.

A basic lifting process

Indiana University has provided an easy-to-understand description of the basic lifting technique that everyone can practice to keep the back working the way it should. The following steps should be a part of everyone’s lifting routine, even if it doesn’t seem like the object is particularly heavy:

  • Find a center of balance and keep it steady the whole time.
  • Lift from the legs by squatting to pick up low loads instead of crouching.
  • Keep the back straight the whole time, allowing the weight to stay centered.
  • Avoid holding an object below the waist or above the shoulders.

In addition to these steps, it is also important for people to use assistance to make the job easier. Supportive shoes with good traction along with gripping gloves can make a big difference.

Things to avoid when lifting

While the above instructions are a good general process for everyone to follow, there are also some things Mayoclinic points out that people should be careful to avoid doing. When turning, people should use their feet and turn the whole body, rather than twisting the back. When picking up an object from the ground, never kneel, but instead squat, maintaining a straight back position. Following this advice will help people to lessen the likelihood of back injuries.

Recent Posts