Moving isn’t easy, and most of us aren’t accustomed to lifting heavy weights – or maneuvering awkward objects like large boxes, furniture, and appliances.
However, moving is a fact of life, and while full service movers can take care of most of your moving needs, at some point, you’ll have to move some boxes yourself.
So to help you keep yourself safe and injury-free, we’ve put together some quick tips about moving safety, how to avoid injury, and making sure that your move is as smooth and easy as possible.
Moving is a workout – hauling heavy boxes and moving awkward furniture is a form of exercise, and should be treated as such. Make sure you’re ready to move by stretching yourself out and limbering up your arms and legs. If your muscles are warmed up before you begin, it will be much easier for you to continue a high level of exertion for a longer period of time.
You should also be hydrated and well-fed. If it’s warmer out in the spring and summer, have water bottles on hand to rehydrate once you start feeling sweaty. Keep some snacks on hand too – moving burns over 250 calories per hour, and over 400 if you’re hauling really heavy furniture and boxes. Keeping your energy level up will allow you to perform for longer periods of time.
Proper lifting technique is absolutely essential to avoiding injury. Your body is under extreme stress while lifting heavy objects, and lifting objects incorrectly can lead to severe spinal injuries, torn ligaments, and other less serious injuries. Many moving injuries are caused by simply lifting heavy weights incorrectly.
Proper lifting technique consists of the following.
- Approach the box or object in question (and make sure you can actually handle the weight)
- Make sure the weight of the box is evenly distributed
- Spread your feet shoulder length apart
- Bend at the knees to grab the box (DON’T HUNCH OVER!)
- Breathe in before you lift the box, and breathe out slowly as you lift it. This helps keep your abdominal muscles compressed, and supports the spine.
- Pick up the box by straightening your legs – not by lifting your torso.
- Move the box.
That may seem like quite a few steps, but it becomes pretty intuitive after a while, and following proper technique will allow you to lift as many boxes as you need to without straining your back or injuring yourself.
Watch Your Step
Falls are a big risk when moving, especially because large boxes and furniture are in places they usually aren’t – and the risk is even bigger when transporting heavy items. It’s hard to regain your balance when carrying a heavy load, so even a small trip can lead to a dangerous fall.
Make sure that you have a clear, designated path outside when moving boxes in and out of a home, and keep it clear of hazards at all times. This will allow you to have a “safe” way in and out when carrying heavy loads, and you can focus on holding onto the boxes you’re moving, instead of just looking at the floor in front of you to make sure you don’t fall.
This “clear path” extends to making sure you’re wearing appropriate footwear, and that your walking path isn’t slick or slippery. A good rubber-soled tennis shoe is a great all-weather choice, and can give you plenty of grip on even tile and wood surfaces.
Avoid open-toed shoes. A heavy-duty tennis shoe or a boot provides much better protection if something is accidentally dropped on your foot, and open-toed shoes can often cause tripping and fumbling problems, due to their design.
Finally, make sure that the path you’re using outside is safe. Clear debris like stones, be aware of potential slippery areas, and make sure there are no other obstacles that could cause you to trip and fall.
Know Your Limits
Knowing your limits is essential when it comes to avoiding injury. Overstraining yourself by doing too much activity outside your ability level or even just trying to move an object that’s far too heavy for you can cause injury, and this is only exacerbated by exhaustion.
Make sure you take a reasonable amount of breaks – moving is hard work, and if you’re tired, you’re more likely to make a mistake and injure yourself. Take a load off, have a snack, have a drink, and prepare yourself for the rest of the day.
Having friends and family to help you can also be a good way to take some of the burden off of yourself when it comes to moving – when one person gets tired, another can take over, and you can all maintain higher energy levels and more strength throughout the day.
Hire Professional Full Service Movers Like Movers USA
The best way to avoid injury when lifting heavy boxes is to not lift heavy boxes at all. Whether you’re packing yourself and just need a good last-mile solution to get you moved into your new place, or you’re looking for a full service moving solution, Movers USA can help.
Our professionals can do the heavy lifting, and can even pack for you if you opt for a full service moving package.
Regardless of the service you pick, our expert movers will help make your move painless, easy, and stress-free. Visit our website to learn more about our services and rates in the Reisterstown, MD area.