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Take Care of your Back

Updated: Dec 20, 2021

Take care of your back
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Back injuries are a very common injury within New Zealand. Many of these injuries are caused from lifting excessive weight or lifting incorrectly. Your back plays an important part in the structure of your body and injuring it causes discomfort and can put stress on the rest of your body.

This Safety Talk outlines some items to put into action when completing manual handling or working in prolonged stances to help protect your back from injury.


Correct posture is not an erect, military pose. It is maintaining the naturally occurring curves in your spine.

Your spine has two inward curves - one at the neck, and one at the lower back, and one outward cure at the upper back.

Keeping your spine aligned in this manner reduces everyday stresses on your back and minimizes the effects of the normal aging process on the spine.

When working in a crouched, bent or stooping position for a prolonged period, take regular breaks by standing up and bending backwards three times.

Prolonged standing often causes an increased curve in your back, You can elevate one foot on a stool or another object to take the stress off the lower spine. (see normal picture)

An increased curve in your back will jam the vertebrae together (sway back) if held too long. This position will cause lower back muscles and ligaments to tighten and lead to lower back pain.

Too little curve (flat back) will put extra pressure on the front of your discs. This can contribute to disc problems and pain.