How to Lift Correctly


Learning how to lift correctly may be one of the most important ways to protect yourself from a back injury.

Here are some tips to ensure proper lifting:

  • face the object that is to be lifted and make sure there is no twisting
  • position yourself as close to the object as possible
  • feet should be at least shoulder width apart or wide enough to lift the object between your feet
  • keep back straight and keep stomach muscles tight. This will prevent you from over arching your back while lifting. Keeping your head up will help your back stay straight.
  • bend your knees and lower yourself into a squatting position while keeping your back straight
  • grip the object to be lifted firmly using your palms (not just your fingers). If the object has handles use them
  • keep the object as close to your body as possible and keep your elbows tucked in
  • when carrying the object do not twist your body. Move your feet in the direction you are going
             

Lifting correctly will go a long way in decreasing stresses to your low back. Remember it is the technique used rather than how heavy the object is, that will determine the risk to injury.

 

Authors:
Angela Mitrovic PT, Physiotherapist, and Myra Del Rosario OT Reg. (Ont.), Occupational Therapist

Credit Valley Hospital