Follow these tips to avoid injuring your spine, or straining your lower back when lifting.

  1. Place your feet shoulder-width apart, one foot slightly ahead of the other.
  2. Squat down carefully by bending at the hips and knees—avoid bending your back. If additional support is needed, put one knee on the floor and the other in front of you, bent at a right angle in an almost kneeling position.
  3. Lift slowly by straightening your hips and knees—don’t use your back or twist your body.
  4. Keep your back straight, your chest outward and your shoulders back as you lift.
  5. Look straight ahead—this helps keep your upper back straight while having a slight arch in your lower back.
  6. Keep the item at belly button level, and as close to your body as possible.
  7. Change direction with your feet and keep your shoulders in line with your hips as you move forward.
  8. Squat with your hips and knees only as you put the object down, to avoid bending your back.