Lesson 4
 Body Mechanics

4.1 Techniques of Body Mechanics

Some of the most common injuries sustained by members of the health care team are severe musculoskeletal strains. Many injuries can be avoided by the conscious use of proper body mechanics when performing physical labor.

Body mechanics is the utilization of correct muscles to complete a task safely and efficiently, without undue strain on any muscle or joint.

Principles of Good Body Mechanics

a. Maintain a stable center of gravity.

b. Maintain a Wide Base of Support. This will provide you with maximum stability while lifting.

c. Maintain the Line of Gravity. The line should pass vertically through the base of support.

d. Maintain Proper Body Alignment.

Techniques of Body Mechanics

a. Lifting.

b. Reaching.

c. Pivoting.

d. Avoid Stooping.

General  Considerations for Performing Physical Tasks

Reasons for the Use of Proper Body Mechanics

Use proper body mechanics in order to avoid the following:

Steps Involved  in Properly Moving an Object to a New Location

The following paragraph takes you through the process of moving (lifting, pivoting, squatting, and carrying) a heavy object. (The same rules would apply to moving a patient.) The object will be moved from a waist high area to a lower area five to ten feet away. The procedure will combine all the rules of body mechanics previously discussed.

  1. Identify the object to be moved.
  2. Adopt a stable base of support.
  1. Grasp the object at its approximate center of gravity.
  2. Pull the object toward your body's center of gravity using your arm and leg muscles.
  3. Re-establish your base of support and appropriate body alignment.
  1. Pivot toward the desired direction of travel.
  1. Re-establish a stable base of support and appropriate body alignment.
  1. Squat and place the object onto the lower area.