Spring is here, so while doing your spring cleaning and yard work remember to use good body mechanics to minimize back strain and muscle tension.
Body Mechanics Basics:
1. Test the load. Before you lift, check the weight and make sure you can lift it safely. If not, get help or use an assistive device.
2. Keep your back in its natural curve. Bend at the hips and/ or knees. With the low back erect, the forces are distributed safely.
3. Maintain a wide base of support. A solid and wide base will help reduce the possibility of slipping.
4. Hold objects as close to you as possible. This reduces stress on the back.
5. Do not twist when carrying. Move or change directions with the feet. This decreases the stress and load on the back.
6. Tighten stomach muscles when lifting. This helps the abdominal are to help in the lift and reduce strain on the low back.
7. Think before you lift. First think how you will lift the object. Plan the path and make sure it is clear.
8. Lift with the legs or the large muscles. Using the large muscle groups helps diminish the forces on the low back.
9. Maintain good communication if two or more people are involved. Good timing on a lift reduces the likelihood of jerky or sudden unexpected movements.
10. Move obstacles out of the way. Making sure the path is clear (clearing away toys, tools, loose rugs, etc.) decrease the risk of slipping or falling.
11. Push rather than pull. It is easier to utilize your weight advantage when pushing.
12. Eliminate repetitive lifting duties if possible. Place things or supplies that you constantly need or use at a better height initially to decrease lifting activities.