Proper lifting technique

Don’t lean forward from the hips during standing activities, like washing dishes, shaving, brushing your teeth, or dressing. This disrupts the posture and stresses the back, especially the lower back. It may also affect the neck and shoulders. If working for short periods of time over a low sink or counter, it’s much better to bend the knees and lower the body keeping the back straight. If this tires your legs, take a few breaks. Or try sitting on a stool if working for long periods. Whenever possible, bring your body close enough to a mirror to avoid leaning over. If the bathroom sink prevents that, consider installing a mirror with an extending arm so that you can bring the mirror to your face and not vice versa. You may need to start wearing your glasses or contact lenses during these activities. Don’t stand in a fixed position for prolonged periods, as when waiting in line or preparing a meal. Even with good posture, holding the back and head upright is very stressful on the back and neck muscles; it can also be quite hard on the muscles and ligaments of the feet and may place excessive pressure on the feet. If possible, put one foot up on a footstool while standing. Shift your weight frequently from side to side. And take occasional breaks to sit or lie down and to stretch the back. Don’t lean forward during seated activities such as writing, eating, or driving. This disrupts good posture and stresses the back, neck, and shoulders, just as leaning forward while standing does. When working at a table or desk, be sure your chair is pulled in close to the table; when driving, adjust the seat so that you can assume a neutral position at the steering wheel, not reach for it.


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