You may be surprised to discover that your lifting posture affects your risk of injury. The posture that you use at work can either improve of decrease your ability to handle manual activity. In order to prevent injury, you must maintain the natural alignment of your spine. Therefore, you should never bend to pick up a load, no matter how large or small. Always bend at the knees and keep your back straight when lifting objects. If you bend to pick up large heavy objects, you run the risk of causing severe strain to your spine as well as the muscles, tendons, and nerves in your back.
You relieve strain in your back when you remain upright, therefore maintaining the natural curvature of your spine. Ask for a lumbar support belt if you consistently lift heavy objects at work. This helps to improve your posture and decrease the strain in your lower back. If you bend at the knees rather than using your back to lift objects, your arm muscles will be able to handle the weight of the load better. If anything is ever too heavy for you to lift on your own, ask for help from a co-worker in order to avoid bending or straining.
Low back pain and lumbar related injuries are common in jobs that require manual handling. Individuals working in factory jobs run the risk of lifting loads that may be too heavy for one person to handle. Factory jobs often include continuous heavy lifting of 50 pounds or more. If something is difficult to grasp, you may sway from the natural posture of your spine in order to stabilize the bulky or heavy item. Employers can reduce this risk by setting up two man teams for lifting and providing enough working space so that workers can easily maneuver large heavy objects.
When you maintain natural postures to prevent injury, you are actually increasing the strength of your muscles in various areas of the body including the legs, back, shoulders, and arms. Increasing your muscle capacity makes lifting objects less of a strenuous task and further decreases the strain on your back. If it is possible, try splitting large loads into smaller ones for lighter lifting. This will encourage you to keep your back straight and bend at the knees when picking them up. Above all, your lifting posture can save you from the possibility of sustaining serious injury that may put you out of work.