Regardless of whether you live in a big house or a small apartment, you’ll have heavy objects when it comes time to move. You should be sure that you are lifting correctly for the sake of your back (and everyone who will have to hear you complain if you don’t).
Before you even think about moving an object, plan how you are going to do it. Here are a few tips to keep you healthy and able throughout your move.
- How heavy is it?
It seems obvious, but is easily forgotten. To avoid shocking your body with last minute postural adjustments, move the object safely beforehand. Try pushing it. That should give you a good idea of how heavy it is.
- What path are you going to take to move it?
Nobody wants to figure out how to navigate a corner with a 40 lb. nightstand in their hands. Make sure to plan out the path that you are going to take before you lift the object. It will make your journey a whole lot smoother.
- Where are you going to hold it?
There are smart ways to hold something. It is better to take the three seconds to plan out your grip now, rather than dropping something on your foot later.
So you’ve got a plan, now how do you carry it out?
- Squat – Don’t bend over, it puts a lot of stress on your lower back. Instead, you should bend low at the knees, then drive up on your heels. If you stand using your toes, you could fall forward.
- Keep your back straight – Pull your shoulders back as you stand. Lift in a very controlled manner. Fast jerky motions are more likely to injure you. When you are fully erect, the object should sit comfortably on your hips.
- Take small steps – If you take large steps you are liable to lose balance. A minor fall can turn into a nasty one if you are hauling a heavy box around.
- Don’t lean over – When you set the object down, don’t bend at your back. Set the object down using the same pattern that you picked it up. Bend all the way down at your knees.