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Back Safety: Lifting

Lifting can strain or even injure your back. Follow these tips to keep your back safe while you bend, lift, and carry. 

Protect your back while lifting

Step 1

Side view of kneeling man tilting box getting ready to lift it.

  • Face the object.

  • With your back straight, get down on one knee.

  • If you can, tilt the object so one side lifts off the ground.

  • Keep the object close to you.

Step 2

Side view of man on one knee lifting box.

  • Tighten your stomach muscles.

  • Use your legs, arms, and buttocks to lift, not your back.

  • Don't twist.

  • Lift the object to your knee.

  • Grasp the object firmly.

Step 3

Side view of man lifting box.

  • Lift with your arms and legs, not your back.

  • Move quickly to help make this easier.

To carry an object:

  • Hold it close to your body.

  • Bend your knees slightly as you walk. The heavier the object, the more you should bend your knees.

  • Get help with heavy or unbalanced objects.

Online Medical Reviewer: Louise Cunningham RN BSN
Online Medical Reviewer: Raymond Turley Jr PA-C
Online Medical Reviewer: Thomas N Joseph MD
Date Last Reviewed: 12/1/2020
© 2000-2021 The StayWell Company, LLC. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.
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