Proper Lifting Techniques for Students

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Cartoon of student wearing a tie lifting a box that is labeled HEAVY

It’s that time of year again, BACK TO SCHOOL! With the summer months behind us, and September

around the corner, thousands of college students are packing up their belongings, loading them into

their cars and heading off to another exciting year filled with possibilities! Due to the exciting year that

lies ahead and the demanding, jam-packed schedules of college students, they typically have a lot on

their minds, and proper lifting mechanics while moving in to their dorms doesn’t usually top the list.

With that being said, here are some helpful “Do’s” and “Don’ts” to ensure a safe, injury free move-in



 Plan your move to ensure a clear walk way.

 Check or test the object’s weight before lifting.

 Stand with your feet shoulder width apart – the wider stance provides a better base of support.

 Bend from your knees and hips while keeping your back straight.

 Tighten your abdominal muscles – this will ready your core for lifting and will help reduce the

excessive strain on your back.

 Lift with your legs – Never your back!

 Hold the object close to your body.

 Utilize the same techniques when setting the object down.

 Recruit a lifting buddy, or utilize a hand truck, for the really heavy objects.


 Don’t forget to breathe! Believe it or not, a lot of people hold their breath when lifting a heavy

object; which can cause a quick rise in blood pressure or a potential fainting episode. Remember

to breathe out when lifting and breathe in when lowering the object.

 Don’t bend or twist from the waist – turn the whole body when changing directions.

 Don’t reach for an object – stand as close to the object as possible.

 Don’t pull a heavy object when you can push it.

 Don’t forget to wear proper footwear.

In addition to these “Do’s” and “Don’ts,” remember to stay hydrated, to take small breaks and to listen

to your body (it will tell you when it has had enough). With the help of these tips, and hopefully the

helping hands of friends and family, we hope your move-in day is as successful as your new school year!