GOING ON VACATION? READ BELOW!
Over-packed luggage and improper lifting and carrying techniques are common causes of injury to the back, neck and shoulders.
Lifting your luggage can’t always be avoided, even if your luggage has wheels. But practicing safe lifting techniques can substantially reduce your risk of injury.
- Move slowly and, whenever possible, break the action into smaller parts. For instance, when loading a suitcase in the trunk of a car, try lifting it first onto a chair or step-stool, then lifting it into the trunk. Similarly, when placing luggage in an overhead compartment, first lift it onto the top of the seat.
- When lifting your luggage, first get close to the load and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Bend at the knees and let your leg muscles, rather than your back, do the lifting.
- Hold the load close to your body.
- Avoid twisting. Instead, turn your feet in the direction you are headed and turn your entire body in that direction.
- Do not carry bulky luggage for long periods of time. Make sure to check heavier items when travelling rather than carrying them for the duration of the trip.
- Try to carry light pieces in each hand rather than a single heavy item on one side.
- When using a backpack, use both shoulder straps and the waist strap, and adjust them to minimize the bag’s movement.
- When using a duffel or shoulder bag, switch sides often to reduce strain.
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