How to move boxes and furniture without hurting your neck and back

Having a clear out at home or work?

Want to give your living room, bedroom, or kids’ playroom a refresh?

Planning on streamlining your home office?

When moving furniture, boxes, and heavy items around, it’s essential to do it safely and carefully. Otherwise, you risk injuring your neck, shoulders, or back.

According to the HSE, 17% of injuries in the workplace are caused by handling, lifting, or carrying things incorrectly!

If you want to give your room a spring clean, here’s how to do it without hurting yourself.

1. Warm up first

Moving heavy items counts as intensive exercise, so it’s important to warm up first.

Doing light stretches or gentle cardio before starting warms your muscles up, reducing the risk of injury.

Don’t forget to cool down afterwards too – this helps your muscles recover and means you’re less likely to experience soreness and stiffness. Our Fit Stretch is fantastic for a post-move stretch!

2. Plan ahead

While jumping straight in and moving things around right away might be tempting, it pays to be strategic.

Know where you want to move items to, so you don’t have to carry things longer than you need. Also plan the most efficient moving path so you don’t have to step over any obstacles or travel too far.

If you’re putting items into boxes, it’s better to have more lighter boxes than fewer, heavier ones. This puts less stress on your body and also reduces the chances of the boxes breaking.

3. Lift strategically

We’ve all heard the saying ‘bend your knees, not your back’. Your legs are powerful and designed for movement, more so than the muscles in your back. By using your knees, you not only protect and reduce stress on your spine, but can move things far more efficiently.

Here are some other things to bear in mind when lifting boxes and items:

  • Spread your feet apart and push through your heels to support your body
  • Hold boxes close to your body to reduce the strain on your back
  • Avoid twisting your upper body if you need to turn around or change direction. Instead, move your feet

4. Take breaks

You might want to move things as quickly as possible, but it’s vital to take regular breaks and rehydrate.

Drinking lots of water can actually help reduce the risk of back pain, as when you’re dehydrated, the discs between the vertebrae in your spine can dry out, leading to friction and inflammation.

Listen to your body – if something doesn’t feel right, take a rest.

5. Ask for help

Don’t try to be a superhero when it comes to moving boxes. If you need help with a heavy or awkwardly shaped box or item, ask for it. You don’t want to end up with a potentially life-changing injury.

If you’re moving items in a commercial environment, take advantage of specialist technology like a dolly or a hand truck.

Follow these five tips, and you’ll be one step closer to carrying out that clear out you’ve been putting off for ages, without injuring your neck or back!

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