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Watch your back! Follow the experts!

Do you sometimes forget to think of your back when it comes to lifting something heavy or awkward and as a result end up suffering with back ache and pains?

Eighty per cent of the population will suffer with back pain at some point in their lives and the most common causes can be bending awkwardly, lifting, carrying, pushing or pulling heavy objects.

Interestingly, for young children, correct lifting and carrying comes naturally and it’s only as we get older and start to take short cuts or develop our own way of doing things that we begin to adopt unnatural posture which can cause injury whether its minor sprains and strains or a pinched or irritated nerve, slipped disc or frozen shoulder.

Take a look at this video and see how a child will bend at the hip rather than the waist, the load is brought in close to the body using two hands and use of the hips, knees and ankles work seamlessly.

Next time, before you lift your shopping or laptop out of the boot of the car, pick up a load of washing or carry the car seat consider these tips…

  • Keep the load close to your waist for as long as possible and the heaviest side of the load next to the body.

  • ​When you pick up the load keep your feet apart with one leg slightly forward to keep your balance.

  • Hug the load close to your body which can be a better option than gripping it tightly with both hands.

  • Slightly bending the back, hips and knees at the start of the lift is better rather than fully bending/stooping over. Don’t bend your back any further while you are lifting.

  • ​Avoid twisting or leaning sideways especially while your back is bent.

  • Move smoothly and keep your head up when you are carrying the load and know your limits.

If you know someone who could benefit from these tips please share.

Contact CG Safety if you require manual handling training or advice.

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