Safe lifting advice doesn't protect your back

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London, Feb 1: Bending at the knees, keeping a straight back and squeezing those tummy muscles when picking up something heavy might not after all prevent that back pain. Researchers claim there was no evidence that the techniques taught around the world to encourage safe lifting can prevent back injuries.The findings from a study of more than 18,000 workers suggest that training courses for handling heavy items, which are often mandatory for employers and workers, could be a waste of time and money.

Researcher Jos Verbeek at the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health in Helsinki said, ''It seems that what is currently accepted as best practice for heavy lifting does not prevent back pain.'' He and his colleagues analysed 11 studies, out of which eight dealt with health workers who manually handled patients and the rest looked at baggage handlers and postal workers. The researchers found no difference in back pain in studies where one group received training in lifting techniques and the other did not, the Daily Mail reported. Dr Verbeek said there is emerging consensus among biomechanical specialists that the techniques were a waste of time. He said there was one small study that showed a ''no lifting policy was possibly the most effective way to avoid back pain.''


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