When you are moving house, even if you use removalists, you will no doubt need to do more lifting than you are used to. Professional movers will have proper training on how to repeatedly lift heavy boxes, but the rest of us could use a reminder before the big day. With that in mind here are 5 tips to help save your back.
- Get Help: Use a dolly to help take the strain off of your back when moving house. The Beetlebox system can eliminate much of the repetitive lifting and moving. Pack boxes while they are already on a dolly so they can be rolled to another position without the need to lift. Consider using an upright trolley if you have uneven ground to cover. Stack heavy boxes on the bottom, and lighter ones on the top, and roll the stack to your destination.
- What is a safe weight to lift? There is no longer a prescribed maximum weight limit for lifting for either men or women. Other factors come into play including duration and frequency of the lifting, distances moved, posture and positioning when lifting, and more. The smart move when packing is to distribute weight across many boxes, so don’t put all of your books into one box. Put some into the bottom of a Beetlebox, and then top it up with some towels or other light materials. Alternate between packing and lifting so that your muscles have time to recover between periods of hard work.
- Feet: Make sure that you are wearing proper rubber soled lace up shoes – this is no time for Havianas. When you are lifting moving boxes or furniture, keep your feet shoulder width apart and on even ground.
Legs and Back: Keep your back straight, and knees bent and get down in a squat position. Keep your body very close to the box you are lifting, keeping the centre of weight 20cm from your body.
- Do not twist your body when moving the load. Twisting your torso while carrying a heavy load increases the strain exponentially. Instead take small steps with your feet turning until you are in the correct position
Getting your hands on free moving boxes can seem like a good idea at the time, but their uneven size, questionable strength, and lack of handles will put a strain on your back. Using plastic moving boxes that are a standardised size with ergonomic handles, will reduce the chances of injury.