January 21, 2018

What is proper lifting?

iStock_Lifting mechanics

How do you lift properly?


Why is it important to lift properly?


What type of injuries occur with lifting?


Have you ever lifted an object and felt a twinge of pain in your back?  Well you are not alone!  The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that over one million workers suffer from back injuries each year, and one-fourth of all workers’ compensation claims involve back injuries.  The BLS survey also revealed that three out of four of the back injuries occurred while the employee was lifting.

Many people use incorrect body mechanics while lifting and moving objects, causing increased stress on their back.  While lifting objects it is important to keep in mind these helpful tips:

1. Keep your back in a straight, neutral position at all times.iStock_lifting

2. Establish a good foot position.  It may be necessary to stagger one foot in front of the other for better balance.
3. Keep the object close to your body.
4. Bend with your legs, not at your waist.
5. Keep the abdominal muscles engaged to help protect your back.
After doing a lot of lifting it is advised to perform standing extensions to counteract the repetitive flexion forces placed on your back with the lifting.  To perform standing extensions, place your hands on the small of your back and bend backwards as far as you can.  Repeat this 5-10 times.
Following these simple steps can help keep you safe while lifting at work, home, or helping a friend with a move
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