Basic Principles of Proper Body Mechanics

Remember to use proper body mechanics with all your daily activities. Whether you are shopping, cleaning, carrying laundry or transferring an individual, using proper body mechanics will prevent injury.  Always keep your body in proper alignment. This means that your shoulders should always be over your hips and the workload should be at your center of gravity. The center of gravity is the point where the most weight is concentrated.

When lifting, place your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees, rather than bending at the waist. Do not twist. Always face the object or person you are moving. Place the object at your center of gravity and lift standing upright. If pushing or pulling, have a wide base with knees bent, one foot in front of the other. Always remember to use your body as a unit; meaning use all of your back, arm and leg muscles together. Applying the principles of body mechanics to your daily activities will help you avoid injury and conserve energy.

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