The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has expressed to follow these basic steps whenever you need to lift something:
- Face the object and position yourself close to it.
- Bend at your knees, not your waist, and squat down as far as you comfortably can.
- As you prepare to lift, tighten your stomach and keep your buttocks tucked in.
- Lift with your legs, not your back muscles.
- Don't try to lift the object too high — don't raise a heavy load higher than your waist; keep a light load below shoulder level.
- Keep the object close to you as you lift it.
- If you need to turn to set something down, don't twist your upper body. Instead, turn your entire body, moving your shoulders, hips, and feet at the same time.
- Ask for help lifting anything that's too heavy.