No more painful injuries when relocating
Moving to a new home almost always involves lifting and carrying many heavy items such as furniture, appliances, luminaire, and boxes full of clothes, toys, and other personal belongings. Today, we're going to answer the question of how to lift heavy objects safely by addressing advance physical training, as well as special equipment and little tricks you can apply to protect yourself and make the overall relocation easier.
Most common health concerns when lifting heavy objects
Improperly carrying heavy objects can lead to injuries such as muscle strains, sprains, lower back and back pain. Health complaints you may experience from the move include spine pain, sprained wrists, and unwanted shoulder tension. In fact, lifting too heavy an object stretches the back muscles beyond what they can handle: a condition that, in the most extreme cases, could lead to a herniated disc or pinched nerves.
As big a step as moving to a new home is, it's definitely not worth the pain and lack of mobility we can face if we literally step on the wrong side. Often, in their attempts to move with minimal expenses, many understandably forgo the services of a professional moving company. For them and for those who would like to help their loved ones, faced with the challenge of lifting heavy objects themselves, we have prepared this guide.
Moving heavy objects safely: Physical Preparation
Preparation for carrying can be conventionally divided into several phases: physical exercises, supplying medical products to protect the body, reducing the stress it is subjected to, purchasing specialized equipment, and familiarizing with the correct technique of carrying heavy objects.
Take lifting heavy objects as a workout. For any sporting competition to be successful, warm-up is key: a series of preparatory exercises to load the body evenly and even more than the actual competition, preparing the muscles, joints and last but not least, the athlete's psyche. This comparison allows us to best illustrate the importance of careful physical preparation before lifting heavy objects.
Make sure you warm up your muscles, neck, lower back, back, and ankles before you start lifting heavy appliances, furniture, and boxes. Stretch your hands and wrists. Try to grasp your hands with the right passing behind your back on the lower side and the left on the upper side. Warm up your waist with circular movements. This will help your body respond better to the sudden strain.
It's a good idea to have medication designed to soothe the tension in your muscles beforehand. Strong painkillers are not recommended as they can cause dizziness and cause serious accidents during the relocation. For bruises, back and lower back pain it is recommended to resort to cooling sprays or cooling gels, which again aim to reduce pain.
Special equipment for moving heavy objects safely
Fortunately, for all those who need to lift heavy objects, specialised equipment is available on the market that not only makes the process easier but also protects against unwanted injuries. Such types of equipment are:
Moving straps: These are shoulder straps with special handles that attach to the object being carried and help distribute the weight evenly. There are different types: ones that go over the shoulders of the wearer (using the support of their body), and ones that grip the object on its underside without the strap attaching to the wearer. They facilitate both carrying heavy objects alone and carrying in pairs.
Moving rollers: These are portable castors that can be installed on the bottom of the piece of furniture being carried, eliminating the need to lift it continuously. A definite lifeline when it comes to back and lower back pain sufferers.
Carrying trolley: Facilitates carrying heavy objects on flat surfaces (including at home), with a safety cord to secure the load. Owning this type of device would certainly ensure that you won't have to visit your GP after moving into a new home.
Slip-proof Gloves: Special gloves that minimize slipping during carrying. Suitable for furniture with flat and glossy surfaces, such as refrigerators, washing machines, or wooden furniture.
Moving heavy objects safely requires no sharp movements
Proper motor skills are also not to be underestimated when looking for an answer to the question of how to lift heavy things safely. Here are our tips:
Make sure you are steady on your feet: This requires wearing flat and comfortable shoes (preferably ones for sports). Make sure that you have one foot flat on the floor, and that the surface you are stepping on is flat and not a slip hazard.
Crouch before lifting the object: If lifting a heavy object from the floor, such as a box for example, crouch with your back straight before lifting it. Squatting will give you a stable base and even weight distribution. If you only bend over the load and take the weight, you risk straining your arms and injuring your palms.
Stand up slowly: Standing up too quickly risks losing stability and staggering backwards. Stand up slowly, with your back straight, and take a breath once or twice before taking the first step with the load.
Tighten your abdominal muscles: Tightening your abdominal muscles when standing will aid the overall movement, again, reducing strain on your arms, back and legs.
Keep the load close to you: This way your torso provides extra support, and your arms are gathered and get tired more slowly.
Keep your back straight: Good posture when lifting heavy objects ensures less strain in the back, better support, and last but not least, greater endurance.
Grip the object in the middle: The right grip is also among the cornerstones of safe carrying. Make sure you place your palms in the middle of the bottom of the load, not at its end. That way you distribute the weight of the item and don't risk it slipping out of your hands. For those of you who are about to carry on your own for the first time, we recommend getting the slip-proof gloves already mentioned.
Take small steps: Haste and lack of attention are your first enemies when it comes to carrying heavy objects safely. Make sure you take small but safe steps.
Do not carry many boxes at once: Carry the boxes one by one or with the help of the trolleys already provided. Stacking boxes on top of each other and carrying them at once not only interferes with your visibility, but also compromises their integrity.
Don't carry objects above shoulder height: Doing so almost guarantees an unwanted blow to the head from a box falling on you. You also unnecessarily get your hands tired, depriving yourself of the ability to carry a satisfactory number of belongings.
It's always safer to work in a team
Moving often involves teamwork. Here are some ideas on how to keep yourself healthy in such cases:
Maintain synchronisation: Heavy objects should be picked up, lifted and then dropped in synchronisation. Do not hurry to stand up or bend down before your helper. Avoid sudden movements that reduce the chance of a quick reaction from your partner.
Communicate: Quality communication is paramount during a transfer. Often the visibility of one of the carriers is limited by the volume of the object being carried. Therefore, make sure the lead is always navigating their companion or alerting them to unexpected obstacles.
Avoid arching the back and bending to one side: These types of movements are among the prerequisites for serious injuries. Make sure you keep both your back posture and your feet stable.
Double-check your grip: Make sure both carriers have a firm grip on the object being carried. This reduces the risk of unintentional dropping by one carrier, potentially leading to injury and harm to the other member of the tandem.
Say "yes" to frequent breaks: Get frequent, quality rest! You never know how exhausting the carrying of the heavy cooler that traditionally shelters your favourite treats might be. And on that note: make sure you eat enough without overeating during the relocation. We also advise you to gradually increase the load: in the first few days, move out the medium weight appliances, and in the middle of the move, go for the heaviest ones. Leave the lightest items for last.
Alternatives for lifting heavy objects
No matter how strong we are and no matter what team we have, extra help is often needed. Movega Removals offers it through its External Lift service. Using a special crane, heavy and bulky items are brought into the home through the window, reducing the risk of stairwell injuries and disgruntled neighbours. In addition, you will be accompanied by professional assistance in loading and unloading the items being carried. And here are another 10 reasons to hire professional movers.
The experts at Movega Removals are here to advise you at any point of your move. You can get in touch with us through the available chatbot feature and online contact form.