Physiotherapy Association of BC
Moving for Life

April 2015

Spring is here. And, if you’ve got the urge to Spring clean and you’re getting ready to clear out your attic, garage, basement or house, below are a few tips on how to lift objects without injuring yourself. By following these tips you can help minimize your risk of injury and still get everything to the curb on time.

If you feel pain during or after lifting, your physiotherapist can help.

Laura Patrick (Kids Physio Group – Private Clinic) and Mark Borslein (Gastown Physio & Pilates) coach children and injured workers on how to lift without injury.

Safe Lifting Tips to keep you moving for life.


  1. Warm up and plan before you lift.

    To get your blood flowing and your joints lubricated do some practice squats, heel lifts and arm circles first. Plan ahead for your path of lifting; think twice, lift once. And, check to make sure the surface area is not slippery or uneven.

  2. Lift with your legs not your back.

    Stand as close as possible to the item you are lifting. Stand shoulder width apart and bend at the knees, not the waist so you use your legs and core rather than your back to lift. If the item is big and heavy, get help or use a dolly.

  3. Wear proper footwear.

    When you’re planning on lifting something, wear good shoes with low heels, not sandals, high heels or flip-flops. Don’t twist when you lift, move your feet to the new position.

  4. Control the weight, don’t let it control you.

    If you are lifting more than one thing, balance the weight equally between both hands; don’t lift a heavy item with one hand and a light item with the other. Plant your feet and lower your centre of gravity.

If you do hurt yourself while lifting after your Spring-cleaning endeavors, consult with your physiotherapist to create a program to alleviate the pain. BC physiotherapists are the most physically active healthcare professionals in Canada and the ones physicians recommend most. To learn more about how physiotherapists keep British Columbians moving for life, visit movingforlife.ca.