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by Dr. Isabel Perry, “The Safety Doctor”


(278 words)

Small children are the best lifters in the world.  When you were a child, you were too! 

Lifting was accomplished in the most natural way – using the body the way it was designed to move.  How did we do it?  Watch any small child and you will see them:

¨      Bend at the knees – they squat.

¨      Keep the head up – they squat.

¨      Keep the back straight – they don’t have the agility to bend over and lift.

¨      Lift with their legs – they don’t have a choice with their weak arms.

¨      Hold the load close to their body – if it’s too far away from their body, they can’t get their arms around it.

¨      Avoid twisting – they fall.

¨      Stable footing – they fall.

¨      Too heavy – they let you know – they cry or call out for help.


As we grew older we watched adults perform unsafe or improper lifting tasks – often because it was faster.  Eventually we forgot how to do it properly.  We started doing things for convenience and speed – not for safety.  These bad habits can put tremendous strain on our backs, arms, shoulders, wrists and legs.  The result over time may be permanent problems.


Bad habits are difficult to change, but it can be done with a bit of conscious thought and practice. 

¨      Bend at the knees.

¨      Keep chin level or head up.

¨      Back straight.

¨      Hold the load close to the body.

¨      Avoid twisting.

¨      Make sure footing is stable.

¨      If the object is heavy – get help.

When you need to lift anything – small loads or big loads practice the same things you did as a child!


Dr. Isabel Perry is an internationally-known safety expert, motivational speaker, author, and safety educator.  Based in Orlando, Florida, she can be reached at 407-291-1209 or via e-mail at [email protected]