Lifting and Moving Techniques

The stress of moving home can be one thing but don’t make it worse by using bad lifting techniques that can cause pain and injury and turn your house move into a nightmare.

The National Health Service spends more than £1 billion per year on back pain related costs, some of which is used to help people who have injured their back whilst lifting or moving objects incorrectly. Injury resulting from these types of accidents can be greatly reduced by using correct lifting techniques, especially when lifting and carrying boxes and moving furniture during a house move.

The fail-safe way to avoid injury during your move would be to use the services of a professional house removals company who could do all the packing, lifting, loading and unloading ensuring you never have to lift a finger, but this isn’t always possible for everyone due to costs or timescales. So, whether you intend to complete the whole move yourself, or you only wish to pack the boxes, following these simple guidelines will help you towards an injury free move.

Warm Up

It may sound silly but before you start moving furniture around we recommend doing some stretching exercises. You wouldn’t think anything of it before a gym work out and lifting and moving furniture all day long can be much harder than a gym session. Make sure you complete a full body stretching routine that hits all your muscles because you will certainly be using most of them during your move!

Lifting Boxes

Most small to medium size possession will be packed into boxes. When lifting these boxes from the floor always ensure legs are kept bent and your back is as straight as possible. Place your hands either side of the box and grip tightly and then lift by pushing up with your LEGS!

When picking up a box from the floor never just bend over with straight legs and grab the box and lift it using your back, this puts all the strain on your lower back and is a sure fire way to an injury.

Moving Larger Items

Never attempt to move larger items such as dinning tables, wardrobes or a fridge on your own. Always position two people either side of the item you want to move and make sure the intended route is clear of boxes and packing paper.

Whatever it is you are lifting there are certain techniques that will help you avoid injury. Here’s what we try to do when we carry out house removals at Cambridge Van Man.

Plan the route: Plan moving the item before you start so that you or the person you are lifting with know where you are going to and how you intend to get there, allowing for a rest stop if the item is being moved over a long distance.

Positioning: By keeping an item close to the waist you will help to keep unnecessary pressure off the lower back.

Stance: You are going to need to keep your feet apart and legs slightly bent so ensure you aren’t wearing tight fitting, restrictive clothing and always wear suitable footwear.

Get a grip: Instead of trying to hold on tightly with your hands, pull the load in close to your body when possible. This will help take the pressure off your arms and help you to keep the load more stable.

Lift with your legs: Don’t bend your back. Push you bum out, bend your hips and knees slightly and lift pushing up through your legs.

Don’t twist: Always keep your body nice and straight when lifting and don’t twist around to move an item. Instead, put the item down, reposition yourself and the item and then pick it back up again if necessary.

Eyes forward: Once you have hold of the item securely keep your head up and eyes looking towards where you intend to go.

Don’t do the twist: Use smooth, controlled movements, especially when lifting an item with somebody else as a sudden jerk can cause the other person to twist and injure themselves or drop the item being carried.

Easy tiger! Don’t try and lift something beyond your safe capabilities. There is a difference between lifting the maximum weight you can and lifting something safely and avoiding injury. If you need help, just ask. Most household items can be easily and safely managed between two people.

The final resting place: To get an item exactly where you want it, lower it down to the ground first then manoeuvre into place by gently pushing and sliding it on the floor.

We hope these tips will see you to an injury free move but if you do find yourself getting back pain during or after a house move then consult a local Physiotherapist to help you back to recovery. A Physio can quickly get you back on your feet again and ready to start all those little DIY or gardening jobs in your new home.

Jon Lamming writes on various topics about Cambridge Man and Van removal services, house clearance, storage and packing. Here he writes about winning the a local business award. Besides writing for blogs Jon enjoys surfing all over the world, Thai Boxing and riding his motorbike. The most important things in the world to Jon are his lovely Polish wife Magda and his two girls, Emily and Olivia.

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