Proper lifting can strengthen your body and your spine. However, improper lifting can cause spinal injury and debilitation. Each year, the quality of life of millions of individuals is diminished due to lifting injuries.

The following are seven simple but profoundly important rules for lifting. Carefully applied they will help you prevent injury.

1. Stop and think before you lift. Most lifting injuries occur when you are rushed or preoccupied.
2. Keep heavy objects close to your body.
3. When lifting heavy objects practice:
* Spreading your feet wide apart.
* Sticking out your chest and tucking in your chin.
* Tightening your stomach muscles.
* Keeping your back upright.
* Bending your knees not your back.
* Keeping your shoulders parallel to the floor
* as much as possible.

4. When carrying a load over a long distance or for
5. a long time, shift the load occasionally from one side to the other side and change position. Every half-hour put the load down and stretch your arms over your head while breathing in deeply.
6. Do not lift and twist your back at the same time.
7. Do not lean forward without bending your knees.
8. Avoid lifting objects above the level of your shoulders.

An example of the proper beginning
low lifting posture:

Feet are spread wide apart.
Arms straight.

The box is held close to your torso creating a short lever for the lift.