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HealthSheets™

Back Safety: Bending

Bending can strain or even injure your back. Follow the tips below to move safely and protect your back as you perform everyday activities.

Bending over

Man bending at knees to retrieve a pan from a lower cabinet.

  • Keep your feet shoulder-width apart.

  • Move your whole body as one unit.

  • Bend at your hips and knees, not at your waist.

  • Flatten your stomach and tighten your leg muscles.

  • To keep your spine straight, let your buttocks move out behind you. Don’t try to tuck them under.

  • If you need to, place one hand on a sturdy object for support.

 

Bending to the floor

  • Lower yourself to one knee. If you can, rest one hand on a sturdy object to help lower yourself.

  • Rest one arm on your raised knee.

  • Don’t bend at the waist.

  • Do not hunch your back or neck to reach to the floor. Instead, bend more at your hips and knees to get closer.

© 2000-2017 The StayWell Company, LLC. 800 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.