It’s time to get serious about safe lifting techniques. Did you know that according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics nearly 200,000 U.S. workers suffer back injuries every year? Moreover, countless dads, dudes, and dudettes throw their backs out around the house.
Have you ever suffered from a back injury? I did once, and let me tell you, it is totally debilitating. Every little movement you make hurts deep, deep down. Plus, once your throw your back out the first time, you become more susceptible to future injury.
Safe Lifting Techniques
The first, most important, safe lifting technique is to accurately assess the weight of the object vs. your own strength. If it is too much for you, get help! You might be worried about not looking macho enough, but if you throw your back out, you might not even be man enough to get out of bed.
Next, approach the object with a wide stance. Keeping your feet about shoulder width apart forms the base – literally – of all the remaining safe lifting techniques.
Next, you’re going to want to squat down moving only your legs. Do not bend your back. To make sure your back is straight, you may want to try looking straight ahead.
Now, grip the object and stand up using only your legs. The point is to make your legs do the work, not your back, which is much more susceptible to injury, and also not nearly as strong as the average set of legs.
Once you’ve got the object in the air, be sure to hold it around your navel, close to your body. By keeping the object in the middle of your center of gravity, you minimize the strain you are putting on your back. Also, avoid twisting your spine.
Finally, when you are ready to place the object down, use these exact same safe lifting techniques, but in reverse.
Here is a helpful video on safe lifting techinques.
Good luck! If you’re looking for some additional tips, this site goes into even more detail!