Safe lifting techniques will minimize your chances of injuring yourself. The safest way is to let the movers do the lifting. Use more than one person if the item is bulky or very heavy.
Estimate the Weight
Your furniture or box may be heavier than it looks. Giving the object a push will help you judge its weight. Use more than one person if there is any doubt about the weight. The same applies if the object is too bulky. More than one person can give you extra control.
If your item has handles, it will be easier to move. Just make sure the handles are sturdy enough to use for lifting. The Box Buddy allows you to punch/cut perfect handles in the sides of boxes. You can also purchase forearm forklift straps that work like handles for larger objects. They can make anything you carry seem 66% lighter as well as encouraging proper lifting techniques.
Check for Obstacles
Check your moving area for any obstacles that may be in your way. This can help you avoid tripping over something left in your path. Take extra care if you find the ground to be uneven. The floor may be wet and slippery, especially if it has rained recently.
Tools of the Trade
There are a lot of tools of the trade that can make your move easier. The wheel is one that offers the most help. Hand trucks, furniture dollies and push carts all help you move your belongings easily. Back belts may offer some protection for your back, but they may not prevent all injuries. Forearm forklift lifting straps can make handling large bulky items easier.
Lift With Your Legs
Using your legs to lift will reduce your chance of injuring your back. Bend at the knees and keep your back straight. This works best if you straddle the object you are lifting. Also remember to not twist while lifting.
Twisting when lifting can cause damage to your back. Jerking can also strain or pull you muscles. Smooth lifting without twisting is safer. Leave the twisting to the dance floor.
Hold it Close
Hold the object you are carrying close to your body. Keeping the object near your body, between your waist and shoulders will allow your arms and shoulders to do most of the work, taking some of the strain off your back.
Warm Up and Take Breaks
Moving can be like exercise. It is best to warm up and stretch your muscles before putting them to work. Take short breaks to allow your muscles some time to recover. Take your time if your body isn't used to the sudden increase in demands caused by moving.
Secure Loose Objects
Secure loose objects so they don't shift in the middle of the move. If they shift they can fall on you or cause you to fall and/or hurt your back. Moving drawers and doors can pinch fingers and hands or damage the furniture. Use stretch wrap to keep doors and drawers closed.
Drink Plenty of Water
Staying hydrated is important. Drink plenty of water. Stop in the office to take a break and use our free water cooler.
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