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Thursday, February 9, 2012

Don't Let Your Job Steal Your Health -- Proper Lifting Technique

Improper lifting is one of the most common causes of workplace back injuries.  Here are some tips to help you make sure that you are lifting properly at work.

1. Plan ahead before lifting.  Make a plan before you lift the item to be moved.  Clear a path, and make sure that you know about how much the object weighs before you start lifting.  If someone else is helping you, make sure that you both know how you plan to move whatever you are lifting before you start.

2. Lift close to your body.  Make sure that you have a firm hold on the object.  Keep it balanced and as close to your body as possible. Do not hold heavy items lower than about mid-thigh or higher than the shoulders.  Do not reach out when lifting.

3. Keep your feet shoulder width apart.  A solid base of support is important while lifting, so keep your feet about shoulder width apart and take smaller steps when lifting or carrying heavy items. If your feet are too close together you will be unstable.  If they are too far apart it will hinder movement.

4. Tighten your stomach muscles.  Tightening your abdominal muscles will hold your back in a good lifting position and will help prevent excessive force on the spine.

5. Keep your back straight. Focus on keeping your spine straight.  Keeping your eyes pointed slightly upward will help you to do this. 

6. Lift with your legs. Lift and lower the object back to the ground by bending your knees. Your leg muscles are much stronger than your back muscles, so be smart and let  your leg strength work in your favor.

7. If you are straining to lift something, get help.  If an object is too heavy or awkward in shape for you to lift alone make sure that you have someone to help you lift it.  Also consider using a dolly or other tool to help you move the object. 

Lift with your legs
and don’t twist your body when lifting
heavy objects.


Our doctors have helped many people with workplace injuries to recover from their injuries so that they could live healthier, more productive lives.  Call (606) 549-4811 today for more information on how our experience, technology and educational programs can help improve how you function at work by correcting and preventing future spinal and health problems caused by years or months of unhealthy work  habits

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