A Physiotherapist's Guide to Lifting Objects Safely

Written by Scott Gentle
Physiotherapist, University of Queensland
Medically reviewed by Dr Gina Arena
Research Fellow, University of Western Australia
Reviewed on July 20, 2022

Proper body mechanics is an essential aspect of your daily activities. Without it, simple activities such as lifting and picking up objects from the ground can result in unexpected injuries and pain.

Improper lifting techniques can lead to discomfort and unnecessary stress on your joints, ligaments or muscles, leading to more severe injuries.

Learning correct lifting techniques and proper body mechanics will effectively minimise your risk of injury. This will also allow you to do physical tasks more efficiently and conserve energy while preventing unnecessary stress on your joints, tendons and other parts of your body.

Top 5 Lifting tips to avoid injury

1. Plan your lift before executing it

Scan your surroundings and ensure a clear path. This can help you avoid sudden movements that can strain your muscles.

2. Assess the object’s weight first

Allow your body to gauge the weight before lifting. This will ensure that you use just enough energy to do the lifting and avoid lifting too heavy objects. Ask for help if the object is too heavy for you to lift alone safely.

3. Use your lower body

Your legs have strong muscle groups that can produce stronger force, allowing you to stand and lift heavy objects. Do not lift with your back, and avoid twisting your body while lifting.

Instead of bending your back to lift an object, you should stand close to the object, bend your legs, keep your back straight, and then lift as you push your feet against the ground.

4. Keep your feet shoulder-width apart

You can efficiently lift an object by maintaining a balanced distribution object’s weight on both sides of your body.

5. Ask for help

Ask for help when needed or take multiple trips when carrying large quantities of heavy objects. Ensuring your safety is the best and most efficient way to accomplish a task.

If you are suffering from an injury related to lifting, consult a physiotherapist for help. Minor injuries from a fall or lift, such as back pain, may progress and lead to chronic conditions without early intervention.


Physiotherapists are rehabilitation experts that specialise in human biomechanics. They provide high-quality care and medical advice to treat pain conditions and improve your quality of life. Visit a physiotherapist today and start your recovery.

Written by Scott Gentle
Physiotherapist, University of Queensland
Published on July 20, 2022
Medically reviewed by Dr Gina Arena
Research Fellow, University of Western Australia
Reviewed on July 20, 2022
Medical reviewers
Last medically reviewed on July 20, 2022
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