Shared How To Lift Your Luggage For A Safer Trip

Posted on June 24, 2015 by

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The good news is many of these injuries can be easily prevented. The following tips can help take the pain out of your vacation:

Choosing your luggage:

  • When shopping for new luggage, look for a sturdy, light, high-quality and transportable piece. Avoid purchasing luggage that is too heavy or bulky when empty.
  • Choosing a bag with wheels and a handle can go a long way to lighten your load.
  • A good quality backpack with adjustable, padded shoulder straps and a waist strap makes an ideal carry-on because, when worn properly, backpacks can evenly distribute weight.

Packing your luggage:

  • Over-packing is an easy pitfall, but consider that the larger and heavier the luggage, the more susceptible a traveller is to neck, back and shoulder injuries. Try to only pack what you absolutely need.
  • When possible, place items in a few smaller bags, instead of one large luggage piece.
  • Ensure your carry-on luggage does not weigh more than 10 to 15 per cent of your body weight.
  • Keep the contents of any carry-on luggage to a minimum, pack heavy items at the bottom of the bag and make efficient use of the bag’s pockets.

Lifting and carrying your luggage:

Lifting your luggage can’t always be avoided, even if your luggage has wheels. But practising safe lifting techniques can substantially reduce your risk of injury.

  • Move slowly and, whenever possible, break the action into smaller parts. For instance, when loading a suitcase in the trunk of a car, try lifting it first onto a chair or step-stool, then lifting it into the trunk. Similarly, when placing luggage in an overhead com­partment, first lift it onto the top of the seat.
  • When lifting your luggage, first get close to the load and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Bend at the knees and let your leg muscles, rather than your back, do the lifting.
  • Hold the load close to your body.
  • Avoid twisting. Instead, turn your feet in the direction you are headed and turn your entire body in that direction.
  • Do not carry bulky luggage for long peri­ods of time. Make sure to check heavier items when travelling rather than carrying them for the duration of the trip.
  • Try to carry light pieces in each hand rather than a single heavy item on one side.
  • If using a backpack, use both shoulder straps and the waist strap, and adjust them to minimize the bag’s movement.
  • If using a duffel or shoulder bag, switch sides often to reduce strain.