You don’t know how important your back is until something goes wrong with it. Then, it becomes difficult to do almost anything. Your work life, time with your family, all your hobbies, even sitting comfortably or getting a good night’s sleep – they all depend in part on having a healthy back.
With that in mind, it’s important to do everything you can to keep your back healthy. Here are five tricks you can use to protect yourself from back injuries at work:
The Advice You’ve Already Heard (But We’ll Repeat Anyway)
You probably don’t need us to tell you that you should lift things with your legs, not your back. It’s the first safety advice you’ll get at most workplaces (well, maybe the second, after “don’t drink the coffee after 10”).
But good advice is good advice. Don’t bend over at the waist to pick something up. Use your knees and keep your back straight. Your leg muscles are stronger and don’t consist of a loosely compiled stack of bone and cartilage just waiting to get yanked out of alignment.
Don’t Just Use Your Knees
The advice about lifting with your knees comes up a lot. But, in reality, that instruction is often too narrow. There are many other things you can do to minimize back strain.
If you carry something, keep it close to your chest, so it doesn’t strain your back. Engage your core when lifting. Use your arm strength as well to distribute stress safely around your body. By actively getting other muscle groups involved, you can prevent putting your spine in a bad situation.
Wear Necessary Safety Equipment
It’s probably not necessary to get the back brace out to carry the stack of paper to the printer. But if you’re lifting things steadily throughout the day – even seemingly light items – proper equipment can go a long way to protect against serious strain.
In many jobs, this might be part of the stated safety regime. If so, don’t ignore the rules, even once in a while. If it isn’t a stated requirement, don’t be afraid to seek out safety equipment on your own. Your manager should be happy to provide it for you (the company doesn’t want you injured either).
Get In Shape
Like you need someone else telling you to get more exercise … We’re sorry to bring it up, but it does help. Having a strong back, strong legs and a good core will help prevent injury.
You can lift weights to build up strength. But you don’t have to go all-out either. Just adding a stretching or some light yoga to your routine can go along way to keeping your back healthy.
Don’t Be Shy About Asking for Help
It can be embarrassing to admit that a task is too much for you. But trying to lift more weight than you can handle can lead to long-term problems. Don’t be afraid to ask other people for help. Many items will instruct you to team lift. Heed these warnings. It’s not worth hurting your back to save a few minutes or maintain your tough-worker reputation.
Partner with Qualified Staffing!
Staying safe in the workplace is a key to long-term health. Having the right workplace makes this easier. Good companies go the extra mile to keep their workers healthy. Qualified Staffing can help you find the perfect job at a company that has your interests at heart. Contact us today to find out more.