In addition to considering the size, weight and position of the object you want to lift, you need to do a few other things to remain injury-free. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons recommends the following technique:
- Give your body a firm foundation. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart (about one foot or 30 centimeters) to help stabilize yourself.
- Don't twist. Instead of bending your back to reach the object, bend at your knees, keep your chest pointed forward, tighten your abdominal muscles (your core) and lift with the strength of your legs.
And when you're setting the object down? Same thing.
- American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. "Preventing Back Pain at Work and at Home." July 2007. (Feb. 7, 2011) http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00175
- American Chiropractic Association. "Back Pain Facts & Statistics." (Feb. 7, 2011) http://www.acatoday.org/level2_css.cfm?T1ID=13&T2ID=68
- Harvard University - Environmental Health & Safety. "Lifting Safety." Oct. 6, 2008. (Feb. 7, 2011)http://www.uos.harvard.edu/ehs/safety/toolbox_talk_lifting.pdf
- Mayo Clinic. "Slide show: Proper lifting techniques." Feb. 5, 2011. (Feb. 7, 2011)http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/back-pain/LB00004_D&slide=1
- National Cancer Institute. "Cancer Research Funding." July 13, 2010. (Feb. 7, 2011)http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/NCI/research-funding
- Premier. "Back injury prevention." (Feb. 7, 2011) http://www.premierinc.com/safety/topics/back_injury/
- U.S. Army - White Sands Missile Range. "Safe Lifting Techniques." Aug. 25, 2010. (Feb. 7, 2011)http://www.wsmr.army.mil/gar/ISO/Safety/Pages/SafeLiftingTechniques.aspx
- U.S. Department of Energy - Brookhaven National Laboratory. "Safe Lifting and Carrying Techniques." June 9, 2009. (Feb. 7, 2011) http://www.bnl.gov/esh/shsd/pdf/safe%20lifting%20and%20carrying%20techniques.pdf
- U.S. Department of Labor - Occupational Safety & Health Administration. "OSHA Technical Manual: Section VII, Chapter 1." (Feb. 7, 2011) http://www.osha.gov/dts/osta/otm/otm_vii/otm_vii_1.html
- U.S. Department of Labor - Occupational Safety & Health Administration. "Standard Interpretations - Standard Number 1903.11(c)." July 31, 2007. (Feb. 7, 2011) http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=INTERPRETATIONS&p_id=22559
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