It is well documented that moving house is up there with life’s most stressful events, so you definitely don’t want to add a back injury to the equation! Your home is full of precious items, so you’ll have taken care to pack them with protective wrapping, making the boxes they’re in heavy. In this guide you’ll learn how to lift all of those boxes safely and protect yourself from pain.
How to lift a box safely
- Assess the situation
- Position yourself appropriately
- Ensure you have a firm hold on the box
- Lift the box
- Move the box to its destination
- Lower the load
When lifting items such as heavy boxes, it’s easy to move too quickly and not fully think through the action you’re undertaking. When lifting a heavy load from the ground you should consider lots of factors to ensure you prevent injury – let’s go through them step-by-step.
1. Assess the situation
You may never have considered how to lift a box before but you need to have a plan in place. Where is the box going? Are there trip hazards along the route? Are there items surrounding the box that will be in your way when trying to lift? Is there anywhere you could quickly rest the box if you have to carry it over a long distance?
Clear all of the potential obstacles and make sure you know where you’re going before you attempt to lift the load.
2. Position yourself appropriately
Give yourself a comfortable base with your feet shoulder width apart, a bend in the knee and one foot slightly further forward to maintain stability. When you bend, do so with your knees and not your back – make sure your spine is straight.
3. Hold the box firmly
If the box slips out of your grip, a sudden jolt could cause you injury. If at all possible, hold the box close to your body to give yourself a stronger hold. The NHS recommends holding the box near your waist as you lift, this reduces the pressure you put on your back.
4. Lift the box
You’ve bent with your knees, you’re keeping your back straight and you now have the box in a nice firm grip. It’s time to stand up with a smooth and steady motion, making sure your lower body is performing the lifting. We’ve already stated this but it’s so important – don’t bend your back when you lift. Maintain an upright posture and don’t twist or lean while you have the box in your clutches. These points are important to avoid back pain.
5. Move the box to its destination
Now you’ve safely lifted the box it’s time to transport it to its chosen destination. Keep your eyes up, move steadily and don’t rush the job. Any sudden changes of direction or jolts could cause you to injure yourself or even fall – slow and steady wins the race!
6. Lower the load
Lowering is equally as important as lifting. It’s understandable to feel tempted to get rid of the box quickly, but don’t drop it, bend your back or rush putting the box down. When you’ve reached where the box needs to be set down, bend your knees instead of your back and lower yourself gently. Once the box is safely down, you can let it go and stand up – again keeping your back straight.
Whether you’re moving your boxes into storage or straight to your new home, make sure you follow our top tips for how to lift a box. These steps will help you avoid all the discomfort and hassle that comes with a back injury.