In almost every onboarding presentation I have watched when starting a new job, I have seen the same message. This message is so important that most employers make a quarterly or at least an annual reminder. The message is about ergonomics, specifically how we should pick up a heavy item. Here are the general rules:
- Plan your path.
- Lift with your legs and not your back.
- When transporting the item, keep the load close to your body and do not overextend yourself.
- If the item is too heavy, have someone assist you.
With the high price that comes with from a work-related injury, this makes sense for both the employer and the employee.
As a weightlifter and personal trainer, I cringe whenever I see bad lifting mechanics. Bad mechanics have put me on the sidelines too often in my younger years. The continual pain in my back, though not initially caused from poor lifting techniques, is reminder enough to practice good form whenever I pick up a heavy object. Good technique practiced consistently will allow me to pick up heavier loads and continue picking them up in my senior years.
It’s not the load that breaks us down, it’s the way you carry it. -C.S. Lewis
These words from C.S. Lewis hit the mark when it comes to physically carrying a load. If we carry it poorly, we will eventually break down. However, physical loads are not the only things we carry. Our hearts and minds also bear a load that breaks us down if not properly carried. Excess baggage not properly dealt with can weigh us down. If we do not learn to handle this weight, we will stumble and falter.
It takes courage to shoulder a burden and carry it to our destination. If we want to make it to the end, we must practice good technique. This will allow us to handle greater weight and carry it longer. This is of course for the weight we must carry. If it is not necessary to carry it, it would be in our best interest to simply let it go.