People whose jobs regularly require them to lift heavy objects are at risk of wearing their backs out over time. On the positive side, they are usually familiar with safety protocol and can avoid the sudden, dramatic injuries people are thinking of when they talk about “throwing out their backs.” For those who do not regularly pick up heavy things, we want to provide some reminders of how to minimize their chance of hurting themselves.
The simplest part is to make inquiries about using a dolly. But if carrying an object is truly required, you would do well to get a feel for the object’s weight distribution before applying force to it. Stand as close to the object as possible, squat down in front of it, and propel yourself upward with your legs. This should be a steady movement, as should all movements made while carrying the object. The object should be kept at rib-level, and you should rotate your entire body while going around corners. It is inadvisable to twist the torso independently of the legs.
When lowering the object, try to place it somewhere it can be picked up again easily. Keep your head vertical when squatting back down, and get back up slowly after letting go.