Health Library Explorer
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z A-Z Listings Contact Us

Back Safety: Lifting

Lifting can strain or even injure your back. Follow these tips to keep your back safe while you bend, lift, and carry. 

Protect your back while lifting

Step 1

Side view of kneeling man tilting box getting ready to lift it.

  • Face the object.

  • With your back straight, get down on one knee.

  • If you can, tilt the object so one side lifts off the ground.

  • Keep the object close to you.

Step 2

Side view of man on one knee lifting box.

  • Tighten your stomach muscles.

  • Use your legs, arms, and buttocks to lift, not your back.

  • Don't twist.

  • Lift the object to your knee.

  • Grasp the object firmly.

Step 3

Side view of man lifting box.

  • Lift with your arms and legs, not your back.

  • Move quickly to help make this easier.

To carry an object:

  • Hold it close to your body.

  • Bend your knees slightly as you walk. The heavier the object, the more you should bend your knees.

  • Get help with heavy or unbalanced objects.

Online Medical Reviewer: Louise Cunningham RN BSN
Online Medical Reviewer: Raymond Turley Jr PA-C
Online Medical Reviewer: Thomas N Joseph MD
Date Last Reviewed: 12/1/2020
© 2000-2021 The StayWell Company, LLC. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.
The health content and information on this site is made possible through the generous support of the Haspel Education Fund.
StayWell Disclaimer