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Back off: 3 questions to ask before you lift something

Whether you’re lugging boxes or laundry baskets, move with care 

Heavy lifting — it’s more brawn than brains, right?

Actually, a little careful thinking before you pick up something hefty is a bright idea. It can help you lift wisely — and protect your back from injury.

Before: 3 smart questions

As you prepare to lift an object, ask yourself:

1. How heavy is it? Give it a light push with your hands or feet to see how easily it moves. If it’s heavy, get help.

2. Is it balanced? Lopsided items — or contents in a box that might shift — can make you unsteady.

3. Where will you put it? Choose a place in easy reach. And make sure the path to it is clear — and that pets and children are out of the way.

During: Use good form

When it’s time to do the actual lifting, get as close to the object as you can. And follow these steps:

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