How to lift heavy things

One of the downsides and potential hazards of moving house or just getting things ready to go into storage is that at some point, it’s inevitable; you or someone in your household will have to lift something that’s either bulky, heavy or – alas – both. And with that activity comes a host of attendant risks to life and limb. You could damage your back. In fact, there’s a long list of potential injuries that could befall you and it’s vital you have the know-how with which to protect yourself. When you’re moving house, you can’t afford to be put out of action, incurring an injury with an aftermath that could bother you for a lifetime. So just equip yourself with the rules for heavy lifting and you’ll be fine. Here are our suggestions for keeping yourself safe while heaving heavy objects.

Start by taking a moment to look at the thing you’re about to move. You can get a sense of its heaviness by pushing it with your foot or lifting up one corner. This will tell you if you can lift it alone or whether you need additional manpower or help in the form of equipment like a dolly. This examination period also lets you gather other information: does, for example, the cardboard box have weak points that could cause problems in transit. Is it slippery? Difficult to grip? Gather up all this information and err on the side of caution.

Next, clear your route. The last thing you need is to be midway through your journey and find an obstacle. It’s vital that you don’t run the risk of tripping while carrying something heavy.

Now it’s time to carry. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, brace your abs, bend your knees and enter squatting position. Once you’ve secured the object in your grip, drive up through your heels, keep the object close to your body and rise up with your back straight. Avoid jerky movements and glance upwards while you lift because this encourages the spine to stay in a safe position.

As you move along your route, maintain good breathing, don’t lock allow your knees to lock but keep them bent and change directions when necessary by pivoting the feet.

At your destination, once more enter squatting position, letting your legs, not your back, do the work. The object should remain close to your body as you lower it gently.