Proper Body Mechanics: Move the Right Way

Moving your body in “smart” ways helps save energy. It also helps protect you from the risk of injuring yourself.

Standing Up

  • To stand, scoot to the edge of the chair.
  • Lean forward slightly so your nose is over your toes and breathe in.
  • As you breathe out, push yourself up using your arms.
  • Remember, it can be harder to get in and out chairs that are low, deep, or soft.

Climbing Stairs

  • Breathe in before taking the first step.
  • As you breathe out, put your leg on the step and push yourself up to the next step.
  • Pause on the step and breathe in.
  • Breathe out every time you step up.
  • If you’re carrying oxygen, try using a portable unit with a shoulder or hip strap, or put it in a backpack.

Lifting and Carrying

  • Get close to the object you are lifting.
  • Bend at the hips and knees if you need to.
  • Breathe in and get a good grip.
  • Breathe out as you lift, using your legs to raise yourself and the object (if you had to pick it up from a lower surface.)
  • Carry the load close to your body.

Pushing and Pulling

  • When you push something, move your whole body along with the object.
  • For example, you can hold your vacuum cleaner with both hands and then walk with it.
  • Pulling can be easier than pushing sometimes.

Getting into and out of Bed

  • When you are getting into bed, sit on the edge of the bed as you breathe out.
  • Take a deep breath in, and and as you breathe out lay down on your side.
  • When you are getting out of bed, roll onto your side facing the outer edge of the bed.
  • Take a deep breath in and as you breathe out, press down with your arms to raise your body.
  • Don’t twist your trunk when getting in and out of bed, make sure to move your body as one unit.

If you are having any difficulty performing the above activities, a physical therapist can help! Call Lifeline Therapy today to schedule your appointment.

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