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Back Supports and a Healthy Back

Part 3 of 3 

Lifting even something as light as a pencil can cause injury to the back, if the lifting procedure is done incorrectly.  Back belts do not make us supermen with strength we never had before.  These belts provide support for your back muscles so they don't get fatigued and they remind us to use correct lifting techniques.  We have been studying this for the past few weeks.  Here are some tips to help you keep your back healthy. 

When lifting keep your knees bent to flatten your back and relieve tired muscles.  When working low, bend your knees deeply to relieve back strain.  Plant your feet firmly and make sure that your footing is secure.  Dismount ladders and equipment slowly, lowering yourself with your hands.  Never jump off a piece of equipment or a ladder.  When climbing onto a piece of equipment or a ladder, make sure that your footing is secure.  Move a ladder instead of reaching.  Never climb on tables or chairs to reach something. 

When shoveling or using a rake, stand near your work instead of reaching.  Keep your hands widely separated for good leverage.  Lift with your knees and keep your back straight.  Don't twist. 

Use lifting and moving tools such as hoists, lifts, dollies, etc, to save work and strain.  Use these lifting tools carefully, making sure that you are not overloading a hoist or dolly. 

When you are driving keep your seat forward so that your knees are bent, higher than your hips.  Change positions often. 

Try doing some simple exercises to warm up your back.  Most athletes will warm up before they compete in their sport.  Have you ever seen football players just run out of the locker room and start playing.  They stretch and prepare themselves physically for the game.  We need to prepare ourselves for the physical work that we do each day.  A few exercises to loosen us up can help us prevent injury.

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