The key to avoiding painful back injuries is prevention. Lifting is the most
common cause of fatigue and low back pain, at home or at work. Whenever you are
lifting or carrying heavy objects, always remember to practice safe lifting
|•||Identify the weight of the load - can
you do it alone? Get help with heavy or awkward loads.
|•||If the load is manageable, make sure
you can lift the load without straining yourself.
|•||Make sure the load is free to move.
|•||Check that you have a clear pathway to
the spot where you will put the load down. You could easily slip and fall on
grease, oil, water or clutter.
|•||Check that there is nothing blocking
the spot where you intend to put the load.
up your muscles with some gentle stretches.
|•||Stand close to the load, facing the
direction you plan to move.
|•||Keep your feet shoulder-width apart and
flat on the floor for good balance. Put one foot slightly forward and keep
your head up.
|•||Make sure you have a good grip on the
load. Get as close to the load as possible and try not to reach for it.
|•||Keep your arms and back straight, with
your feet and body pointing in the same direction.
|•||Tighten your stomach muscles and tuck
your chin into your chest. By tightening and tucking your pelvis, you'll
help keep your back in alignment while you lift.
|•||Lift by bending at the knees, not at
the waist. Keep holding your back in alignment – let the strong muscles in
your thighs do the actual "lifting."
|•||As you lift, hold the load close to
|•||Lift smoothly, without jerking.
|•||Never twist while lifting. Instead,
move one foot at a time in the direction you want to go, then turn using
your leg muscles.
Follow these same, safe techniques as you put your load down. It doesn't take
any more time to lift safely than to lift unsafely, so why not play it safe and
Here are some tips to help reduce the risk of back injury when caring for
|•||When you’re holding infants or
toddlers, avoid placing them on one hip.
|•||Use chairs or furniture with upper back
support when you’re holding or rocking children.
|•||If you are carrying children, keep them
centered on your body and use both arms to hold them.
|•||Teach children to help you lift by
holding onto your body rather than leaning away from you.
|•||Reduce bending and lifting by storing
frequently used or heavy toys, strollers and other items at waist height and
in an easily accessible area.
|•||Avoid bending down at the waist to
interact with children. Use a squatting or kneeling position instead.
|•||When sitting on the floor, support your
back against a wall or some furniture.
|•||Minimize repetitive bending and
stooping when cleaning up. Make a game of tidying the play area and get
children to help.
|•||Lower the sides of a crib before
lifting a child out.