Whether you're moving and need to carry several heavy boxes or just need to lift a single item, proper technique is imperative. Lifting heavy objects incorrectly can strain the back, pull muscles and tire the body. Safe lifting and carrying methods protect against injury and minimise discomfort and fatigue. Once you learn the proper way to lift and carry a box, it should become habitual over time. Always exercise caution before trying to lift any heavy objects.
Evaluate the load to determine whether you can handle the box. If the box is too heavy or awkward, ask for help and don't try to lift it by yourself.
Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Make sure the ground is level and free of obstacles like gravel, ice or water. Place one foot beside the box and the other in front of it.
Bend at your knees down to the box. Keep your back straight by pulling your chin into your chest.
Grab hold of the box with an open palm and spread fingers. Grasp under the box for a secure grip.
Shift your weight into your feet and lift the box using your leg muscles. Push up with your legs to lift. Press down through your heels to engage your legs throughout the upward movement.
Keep your arms and elbows close to your body. This keeps the box tight to your chest and prevents muscle strain.
Look in the direction you need to go. Find the most direct route and walk smoothly toward your destination.
Avoid twisting your body as you walk. If you need to turn, shift your feet and turn your entire body.
Lower the box to the ground by bending at the knees. Don't bend at the hips or lower back as this can strain the muscles.
Slip your fingers out from under the box then slide it to your chosen destination.
Know your limits: don't overreach, stretch or push yourself to lift too much. Use a handcart or dolly for large, awkward loads.
Tips and warnings
- Know your limits: don't overreach, stretch or push yourself to lift too much. Use a handcart or dolly for large, awkward loads.