Proper Way to Pick up a Box

The proper way to pick up a box (or any other object)

Which of these images show the proper way to pick up an object?
See below for answers.







Body Mechanics Basics

1. Test the load. Before you lift, check the weight and make sure you can lift it safely. If not, get help or use an assistive device.

2. Keep your back in its natural curve. Bend at the hips and/or knees. With the low back erect, the forces are distributed safely.

3. Maintain a wide base of support. A solid and wide base will help reduce the possibility of slipping.

4. Hold objects as close to you as possible. This reduces stress on the back.

5. Do not twist when carrying. Move or change directions with the feet. This decreases the stress and load on the back.

6. Tighten stomach muscles when lifting. This prepares the abdominal area to help in the lift and reduce strain on the low back.

7. Think before you lift. First think how you will lift the object. Plan the path and make sure it is clear.

8. Lift with the legs or the large muscles. Using the large muscle groups helps to diminish the forces on the low back.

9. Maintain good communication if two or more people are involved. Good timing on a lift reduces the likelihood of jerky or sudden unexpected movements.

10. Move obstacles out of the way. Making sure the path is clear (clearing away toys, tools, loose rugs, etc.) decreases the risk of slipping or falling.

11. Push rather than pull. It is easier to utilize your weight advantage when pushing.

12. Eliminate repetitive lifting duties if possible. Place things or supplies that you constantly need or use at a better initial height to decrease lifting activities.

Now that you understand some of the body mechanics principles to lifting objects, here are the answers to the above pictures:

Proper: B, D

Improper: A, C, E

Proper Ways to Lift

For different situations, all are considered “proper”




Jeff is a licensed occupational therapist and lead content creator for OT Dude. He covers all things occupational therapy as well as other topics including healthcare, wellness, mental health, technology, science, sociology, and philosophy. Buy me a Coffee on Venmo.