Statistics have shown that manual handling injuries account for 50% of work injuries and back injuries account for almost 60%. That is a lot of pain in the backside.
I have seen a short film called Childs Play (Not the feature film, too scary!) and also used it on many occasions when I delivered manual handling training. The concept is that children always bend their knees when they pick something up or put it down. They have a good shoulder width feet position without looking at their feet, as we are told over and over. They keep their back straight, as we are told and use the palm of their hand with a full grip as they instinctively know it is the easiest way to pick item sup and carry them. They also look up and engage handling in one movement, also as we are told.
The strange thing is that they have not learned how to do it incorrectly. We get lazy and do not consider the consequences of leaning over with straight legs and curved backs and then trying to lift items with our back muscles and a straining spine. This we do while the biggest muscles in our bodies are screaming out to be used. Yet we don’t and we wonder what we can learn from our children.
Their muscles are not developed and they have to make use of their primary anatomy in doing tasks. Squatting is the easiest way for them to do so and in most cases when they realise the item is too heavy they leave it. Very much the opposite we would do! You don’t always have to pick an item up and rolling or loading may be easier. The only downside of when I bend my knees to do manual handling is the crepitus that makes me cringe and I therefore prefer to make use of trolleys and carriers and of course if at all possible someone else to do it. Nothing wrong with self preservation!
Give your back a break and think about the consequences.