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Back Safety: Bending

Bending can strain or even injure your back. Follow the tips below to move safely and protect your back as you perform everyday activities.

Man facing coffee table and bending at knees to pick up magazine.
Always face the object you're bending in front of.

Bending Over

  • Keep your feet shoulder-width apart.

  • Move your whole body as one unit.

  • Bend at your hips and knees, not at your waist.

  • Flatten your stomach and tighten your leg muscles.

  • To keep your spine straight, let your buttocks move out behind you. Don’t try to tuck them under.

  • If you need to, place one hand on a sturdy object for support.

Woman kneeling on one knee to wipe up spill on floor.
Bend at your hips and knees instead of at your waist.

Bending to the Floor

  • Lower yourself to one knee. If you can, rest one hand on a sturdy object to help lower yourself.

  • Rest one arm on your raised knee.

  • Don’t bend at the waist.

  • Do not hunch your back or neck to reach to the floor. Instead, bend more at your hips and knees to get closer.

Author: StayWell Custom Communications
Last Annual Review Date: 3/12/2008
Copyright © The StayWell Company, LLC. except where otherwise noted.
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