It may be the last thing on your mind, but it’s essential to think about ways to protect your back when you’re moving home.
The weeks before – and the day of the move especially – will involve endless bending, lifting and stretching. These are common causes of muscle strain and pain, especially in the lower back. The most common back injuries from moving are back strains, pinched nerves and herniated disks.
Follow our tried-and-tested tips for a back-friendly move.
Start decluttering early
If you know there’s a move on the horizon, start decluttering as soon as possible. A year ahead of a planned move isn’t too early to get sorting. We all have drawers, cupboards, boxes and wardrobes that need purging.
Source cardboard boxes to help sort your items. Label each box: keep, sell, donate, recycle and dump (or words to that effect). This will make deciding what to do with possessions much easier.
Decluttering your home will literally lighten the load come moving day. As well as reducing the stress on your back, it will reduce the amount that needs moving. This will save you time and money.
It will also reduce move-day stress levels because you won’t be hauling items you don’t actually want to take with you.
Strengthen your core
Most of us know months in advance that we’re moving home. This provides the time to strengthen core muscles – those abs and pelvic muscles.
Strong core muscles are the best way to protect your back. They stabilise your body and support your spine. Start a programme of exercises that will strengthen these muscles.
Plan the pack – and pack back-smart
Once you’ve decluttered, begin packing. Write a to-pack list. First pack items you seldom use.
When you’re packing, adopt these back-smart habits. They’ll help you avoid back-breaking bending and carrying heavy loads:
- pack boxes on a table or counter
- stand upright when packing
- avoid packing on the floor or hunched over a coffee table
- don’t use very large boxes that get too heavy
- keep box weights down.
Use the correct lifting technique
The correct lifting technique dramatically reduces any strain on your back. The number one rule is to avoid bending over at the spine or waist.
When lifting or moving any object, but especially a heavy one, always bend your hips, knees and ankles to lower your body towards the object. Settle the weight correctly by squatting down at your knees for the initial lift. Aim to take the load in your legs and lower body.
Carry the item as close to your body as possible. This helps with balance and uses your upper arms and shoulders instead of your forearms and back.
Move your feet when you want to turn. Don’t twist your body. This is a sure-fire way to cause injury.
Release your back
Back pain is usually caused by tension in the muscles around the spine, hips and pelvis. Take time to regularly release this tension by lying on a hard, flat surface (the floor). Bend your knees and keep your feet flat on the floor.
Breathe deeply and slowly. Relax. Increase the release by bringing your knees to your chest.
Pace yourself – and know your limit
Avoid injuries by knowing your own physical limits. Don’t push yourself too far and don’t rush.
If a box or furniture item feels too heavy when you try to lift it – it is. Don’t attempt to lift it on your own.
Rent a moving trolley from Ecobox
You can save time – and back strain – by renting a moving trolley from Ecobox for just R175 a week. A trolley can make your move safer, faster, more efficient and cheaper.
It can be used to move furniture, stacked boxes, books and other heavy or bulky items.
One of the best ways to avoid back injuries during a move is to get help. Don’t attempt to move heavy loads on your own.
Enlist friends and family to share the work and reduce the burden. The more helpers, the easier and safer the move will be.
Of course, the easiest and safest way to move is to employ professional helpers. Yes, it will cost money, but it will remove the risk of a back injury.
At Ecobox, we can help protect your back when you’re moving home by supplying all the products you need to make your move fast and safe, including:
- cardboard boxes in a wide range of sizes
- a full range of packing materials
- eco-friendly, plastic moving boxes for rent
- convenient home moving kits.
Visit one of our retail locations to get the office moving supplies you need, or simply order online and we’ll deliver to your door.
[spb_section spb_section_id=”6825″ width=”1/1″ el_position=”first last”]