The Five Rules for Lifting Are:

I. Take a wide base of support. All objects have a platform or surface which is in contact with the floor or another surface. (E.g., a bed). This platform is known as a "base of support." The larger the base of support, the more stable the object will be. For instance, the area between your feet is your platform. If you spread your feet apart, the base of support becomes wider or larger. If you stand with your feet together, you have a narrow base.

II. Keep the load close to your body. This provides good stability by placing yours and the object's center of gravity near the center of your base of support. Be sure the object's center of gravity is within your base of support. If it isn't, you will be off balance. The second characteristic of an object is its center of gravity. This is the balance point of an object. Some objects, which are heavier on one end than the other, do not have a center of gravity in the middle. A person's center of gravity is slightly higher than the center of a person's height.

III. Bend your hips and knees, but keep your back straight. Bending your hips and knees lowers your center of gravity while ke eping it directly over the middle of your base of support. This allows for stability while lifting and uses your legs rather than your back.

IV. Shift your feet to turn. Don't twist. By moving your feet in small steps, you keep your base of support stable. Twisting can cause strain on the back and may result in injury.

V. Do not lift over your head, if possible. Lifting over your head raises your center of gravity, lessens your base of support, and causes instability. If you must lift high, use a sturdy stool or chair.

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